Blue Raiders Drop 4-3 Decision

Squad drops two matches at HEB Invitational

March 3, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's 41st-ranked men's tennis team lost the doubles point but came back to win the first three completed singles matches only to fall in the third set in the deciding match in a 4-3 loss to 54th-ranked Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Saturday at the HEB Invitational in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The Blue Raiders (8-6) have lost three of their last four matches overall and had a good chance to win on Saturday.

In doubles the Islanders won at Nos. 2 and 3 to post the first point of the match.

TAMUCC's Jose Zunino and Jose Ycaza defeated Marc Boiron and Joao Paoliello, 8-4, at No. 3 before Mikhail Pavlov and Paul Morant-Rivas won 8-6 against Marc Rocafort and Morgan Richard at No. 2 for the doubles point. The match at No. 1 was stopped with the score tied, 7-all.

But Middle Tennessee bounced back with three quick victories in singles to take what appeared to be a commanding lead.

Rocafort, ranked 100th nationally in singles, defeated Pavlov at No. 4, 6-3, 6-1, before 100th-ranked Marco Born won 7-6 (2), 6-2, at No. 1 over 37th-ranked Andrey Kumantsov, and 36th-ranked Andreas Siljestrom took care of Morant-Rivas, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 2.

But the Islanders tied the match with two victories of their own. Ycaza defeated Boiron, 7-6 (1), 6-2, at No. 6 before Zunino tied the dual with a 7-5, 7-6 (2) victory over Paoliello at No. 5.

At No. 3 Richard and Nivokov split sets, but Richard was up a set and a break at one point. Nivokov broke back to even the second set and then evened the match before gaining another break in the final set for the decisive, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, triumph over Richard.

"I'm not disappointed with the loss. We played a very good team," head coach Dale Short said. "We played with enthusiasm and I thought Marco and Andreas showed some leadership. We have to learn to play with a lead and finish off opponents in matches and in duals. We have some time off now and that will give us an opportunity to work on some things as we head into the Blue-Gray."

Middle Tennessee does not play again until the National Blue-Gray Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala., March 15-18.

#54 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4, #41 Middle Tennessee 3

1. (100) Marco Born (MT) def. (37) Andrey Kumantsov (TAMUCC), 7-6 (2), 6-2
2. (36) Andreas Siljestrom (MT) def. Paul Morant-Rivas (TAMUCC), 6-4, 6-3
3. Dmitry Nivokov (TAMUCC) def. Morgan Richard (MT), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
4. (100) Marc Rocafort (MT) def. Mikhail Pavlov (TAMUCC), 6-3, 6-1
5. Jose Zunino (TAMUCC) def. Joao Paoliello (MT), 7-5, 7-6 (2)
6. Jose Ycaza (TAMUCC) def. Marc Boiron (MT), 7-6 (1), 6-2
Order of Finish: 4,1,2,6,5,3*

1. (2) Born-Siljestrom (MT) vs. Novikov-Kumantsov (TAMUCC), 7-7, DNF
2. Pavlov-Rivas (TAMUCC) def. Richard-Rocafort (MT), 8-6
3. Zunino-Ycaza (TAMUCC) def. Boiron-Paoliello (MT), 8-4
Order of Finish: 3,2*

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