. – The New Orleans Privateers men’s tennis team battled against #20 Florida State and defeated Florida A&M convincingly on the first day of the Florida State Spring Invitational. The Privateers will play the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Sunday for fifth place.
FLORIDA STATE-4 NEW ORLEANS-0
The Privateers got off to fast starts at the top two courts in doubles against the Seminoles. However, the nationally ranked squad was not to be denied. After sealing a quick victory at number three doubles, Chase Wood and Rana Roop Bhullar came back to win at flight two doubles 6-4.
In singles, the Seminoles won at flight one, three, and five to clinch the match in their favor. However, New Orleans was winning the second set of the remaining three flights. Misha Fomenkov was up 3-1 in the second set of his match. Odysseas Papaioannou was ahead 5-4 and Samuel Armand led 5-3. All three were threatening to push a tiebreaking third set.
NEW ORLEANS-6 FLORIDA A&M-0
Later in the afternoon, the Privateers came back and dominated a shorthanded Rattlers squad that only had four players available.
New Orleans won the doubles point via forfeit. In singles, Nicolas Kramer breezed to a 6-1, 6-2 win at flight four and was first off the court. Papaioannou followed with a 6-4, 6-0 score line to take flight three.
The Privateers clinched the match when Fomenkov topped Luis Alejandra in straight sets at 6-3, 6-2. Mats Westkamp added another point to the match when he came back from dropping the second set to win a third set tiebreaker 10-8 over Illya Skonny.
FROM COACH KANGA
“I was really pleased today, and I think we have a team that can compete with anyone,” said Coach Burzis Kanga. “With a little more work on a few more things we’re capable of competing at a high level. We’ve had a couple of guys who have been ill but I was pleased we came back and beat Florida A&M.”
The Privateers will look for a winning record on the weekend when they take on a familiar foe in the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. The match will commence at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
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