Raiders Make Big Comeback in 4-3 Victory

Squad overcomes 3-1 deficit to defeat Wisconsin

March 16, 2007 · Jo Jo Freeman
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee overcame an early deficit to tie the singles and won both completed doubles matches, as the 34th-ranked Blue Raiders defeated 39th-ranked Wisconsin, 4-3, late Friday evening at the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala.

Middle Tennessee (9-7) got back on the winning track with the tough victory over the Badgers. The teams played singles first because the match did not start until 6 p.m. after rain in the area pushed back matches for a second straight day. The Blue Raiders fell behind, 3-1, in singles before rallying the even the match at three.

Middle Tennessee then won in doubles at Nos. 1 and 2, clinching the victory and ending a string of four losses in five matches.

In singles, Wisconsin took an early lead with victories at Nos. 2, 5 and 6.

Blue Raider Andreas Siljestrom, ranked 62nd nationally in singles, defeated Jeremy Sonkin, 6-2, 6-0, but the Badgers won the next three outings.

Felipe Bellido won 6-0, 6-0, over Alex McCann at No. 6, before Nolan Polley took care of 88th-ranked Marco Born, 6-4, 6-2, at No. 2. Michael Dierberger gave Wisconsin a 3-1 edge with a 6-3, 6-3, triumph at No. 5 over Joao Paoliello.

But the Blue Raiders fought back, with Morgan Richard outlasting Lachezar Kasarov, 7-6, 0-6, 6-2, at No. 4 before 103rd-ranked Marc Rocafort defeated Moritz Baumann, 6-1, 5-7, 3-1, retired at No. 3.

The score of the match facilitated the play of doubles, with the Blue Raiders quickly completing the comeback.

Born and Siljestrom, ranked fourth nationally in doubles, defeated 23rd-ranked Polley and Baumann, 8-1, at No. 1, before Rocafort and Richard dispensed Sonkin and Kasarov, 8-3, at No. 2 for the final point of the match.

"It was a good win, a gritty win and one we really needed," head coach Dale Short said. "We needed to win a close match and we did it by overcoming some early losses and coming from behind. Now we have to keep that momentum going and take it into our next match."

Middle Tennessee must turn right back around and play again, taking on 42nd-ranked William & Mary at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

#34 Middle Tennessee 4, #39 Wisconsin 3

1. (62) Andreas Siljestrom (MT) def. Jeremy Sonkin (WISC), 6-2, 6-0
2. Nolan Polley (WISC) def. (88) Marco Born (MT), 6-4, 6-2
3. (103) Marc Rocafort (MT) def. Moritz Baumann (WISC), 6-1, 5-7, 3-1, retired
4. Morgan Richard (MT) def. Lachezar Kasarov (WISC), 7-6, 0-6, 6-2
5. Michael Dierberger (WISC) def. Joao Paoliello (MT), 6-3, 6-3
6. Felipe Bellido (WISC) def. Alex McCann (MT), 6-0, 6-0
Order of Finish: 1,6,2,5,4,3

1. (4) Born-Siljestrom (MT) def. (23) Polley-Baumann (WISC), 8-1
2. Rocafort-Richard (MT) def. Sonkin-Kasarov (WISC), 8-3
3. Marc Boiron-Paoliello (MT) vs. Dierberger-Michael Muskievicz (WISC), 7-6, DNF
Order of Finish: 1,2*

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