Men's Tennis Drops 4-2 Decision

Squad wins doubles point but loses four of five singles matches

March 15, 2007 · Jo Jo Freeman
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee won the doubles point but lost four of the five completed singles matches, as 16th-ranked South Alabama defeated the 34th-ranked Blue Raiders, 4-2, in men's tennis action Thursday at the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala.

Middle Tennessee (8-7) has now lost four of its last five matches overall and did so by dropping three tiebreakers against the conference rival Jaguars.

The Blue Raiders got off to a good start, winning the doubles point with a clinching victory at No. 1.

Morgan Richard and Marc Rocafort defeated Dias Doskarayev and R.J. Nagel, 8-4, at No. 2, but USA's Craig Dunne and Jack Baker won at No. 3, 8-4, over Marc Boiron and Joao Paoliello.

Middle Tennessee's fourth-ranked duo of Andreas Siljestrom and Marco Born gave the Blue Raiders the first point of the match with an 8-5 triumph over 43rd-ranked Marek Sramek and Robert Hodel.

South Alabama got out early in the singles, though, winning the first set of the five of the six matches. About halfway through the singles action, the match was delayed for almost an hour because of rain.

Nagel was the first off, defeating Boiron, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 5, before Baker won 6-2, 7-6 (2), at No. 2 over 88th-ranked Born. USA went up 3-1 in the match when 27th-ranked Sramek posted a 6-4, 6-3, triumph over 103rd-ranked Rocafort at No. 3.

Middle Tennessee caught a break at No. 4 to get closer in the match. Richard defeated Hodel, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 1-0, when Hodel was defaulted for cheating.

But the back-breaker for Middle Tennessee came at No. 1, where 96th-ranked Doskarayev erased a 1-6, 1-4, deficit to come back and defeat 62nd-ranked Siljestrom, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, in the deciding match.

Middle Tennessee's Joao Paoliello was down a set but up in the second-set tiebreaker when his match was stopped at No. 6 against Dunne.

"This was a very disappointing match because we put ourselves in position to beat at Top 20 team and then we let it get away," head coach Dale Short said. "We got off to a good start, winning the doubles point, but we didn't start very well in singles and then Andreas let his match really get away and that was the decider."

Middle Tennessee will face either 39th-ranked Wisconsin or 27th-ranked Boise State on Friday. Because of more rain Thursday afternoon the Wisconsin-Boise State match was pushed to Friday morning and the second-round match will not begin before 3 p.m.

#16 South Alabama 4, #34 Middle Tennessee 2

1. (96) Dias Doskarayev (USA) def. (62) Andreas Siljestrom (MT), 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
2. Jack Baker (USA) def. (88) Marco Born (MT), 6-2, 7-6 (2)
3. (27) Marek Sramek (USA) def. (103) Marc Rocafort (MT), 6-4, 6-3
4. Morgan Richard (MT) def. Robert Hodel (USA), 6-7 (5), 6-4, 1-0, default
5. R.J. Nagel (USA) def. Marc Boiron (MT), 6-0, 6-0
6. Joao Paoliello (MT) vs. Craig Dunne (USA), 6-7 (6), 6-6 (6-4)
Order of Finish: 5,2,3,4,1*

1. (4) Born-Siljestrom (MT) def. (43) Hodel-Sramek (USA), 8-5
2. Richard-Rocafort (MT) def. Doskarayev-Nagel (USA), 8-4
3. Dunne-Baker (USA) def. Boiron-Paoliello (MT), 8-4
Order of Finish: 2,3,1*

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