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Blue Raiders Roll Again With 4-0 Victory

April 20, 2002 · MT Media Relations
MOBILE, Ala. - The 41st-ranked and second-seeded Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders came back to win the doubles point and held on for three singles victories en route to a 4-2 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Tournament at the Lubel Memorial Tennis Courts on the South Alabama campus.

The Blue Raiders started out well in doubles at the Nos. 1 and 2 positions, but Trevor Short and Michael Staniak fell behind early and trailed 5-3 before turning the match around. The twosome regrouped and won five of the next six games to win the match, 8-6.

The 43rd-ranked pairing of Daniel Klemetz and Kirk Jackson jumped out to a 3-0 lead but led only 5-4 over Jakub Ilowski and Bobby Hawkins of Lafayette. But Klemetz and Jackson held on for an 8-5 win to clinch the doubles point for Middle Tennessee.

Short used his momentum from the doubles point to dispatch of Hawkins, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 6, and Staniak also cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Michael Tarkowski, staking the Blue Raiders to a 3-0 lead.

The Ragin' Cajuns stayed in the match with victories at Nos. 3 and 5. Johann van der Westhuizen defeated Oliver Foreman, 6-3, 6-4, and Marc Castellana won 7-6 (6), 6-3 over Jackson to pull within 3-2.

But 116th-ranked Robert Gustafssson sealed the win for the Blue Raiders with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Anthony Blache at No. 2, overcoming being broken in the first game of the second set and winning the final four games of the match.

Middle Tennessee will play at 2 p.m. in the finals of the conference tournament, the second straight year the Blue Raiders will play in the tourney finals. The opponent will be the winner of Saturday's late match between top-seeded South Alabama and New Orleans.

#41 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 4, LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 2
SINGLES

1. (15) Daniel Klemetz (MT) vs Jakub Ilowski (UL), DNF
2. (116) Robert Gustafssson (MT) def. Anthony Blache (UL), 6-1, 6-3
3. Johann van der Westhuizen (UL) def. Oliver Foreman (MT), 6-3, 6-4
4. Michael Staniak (MT) def. Michael Tarkowski (UL), 6-3, 6-2
5. Marc Castelanna (UL) def. Kirk Jackson (MT), 7-6 (3), 6-3
6. Trevor Short (MT) def. Bobby Hawkins (UL), 6-2, 6-3

DOUBLES
1. (30) Foreman-Gustafsson (MT) vs. Tarkowski-Westhuizen (UL), DNF
2. (43) Klemetz-Jackson (MT) def. Ilowski-Hawkins (UL), 8-5
3. Short-Staniak (MT) def. Blache-Castellana (UL), 8-6

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