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Late Victories Give Blue Raiders 4-3 Victory

February 7, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's Andreas Siljestrom staved off match points in a third-set tiebreaker to win before Rishan Kuruppu also won in the third set, as the 65th-ranked Blue Raiders picked up a 4-3 victory over 52nd-ranked Louisville Saturday afternoon at the Racquet Club.

The Blue Raiders won the doubles point for the third straight match but again struggled in singles, losing three of the first four completed matches to fall behind 3-2 in the match.

At No. 2 Siljestrom battled UL's Jhonny Berrido, with the two splitting sets before battling to a third-set tiebreaker. In the breaker, Berrido had a pair of match points but failed to convert, and Siljestrom eventually tied the match at three with a 10-8 triumph.

Kuruppu then provided the decisive point in the victory, defeating Jeremy Clark, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, at No. 5, giving Middle Tennessee its first win of the season.

"This was a very good match and a very big match for our team," Middle Tennessee head coach Dale Short said. "Louisville was as good as the other two teams (Indiana and Arkansas-Little Rock) we've played, especially in doubles, but we found a way to win, and that's a big plus for our team right now."

The Blue Raiders started strong again, winning the doubles point.

Forty-sixth-ranked Brandon Allan and Kai Schledorn defeated Clark and Matt Mayer, 8-5, at No. 1 before Siljestrom and Kuruppu took care of Damar Johnson and Berrido, 8-5, at No. 3.

Trevor Short and Kirk Jackson were up 6-4 at No. 2 against Jakob Gustafsson and Octavian Nicodim when the Blue Raiders won the doubles point at No. 3, and the Blue Raider duo seemed to relax and let the Cardinals come back, eventually falling to the UL tamdem, 8-6.

In singles, Short dropped a 6-4, 6-4, decision to Nicodim at No. 1, while Jackson lost 6-2, 6-2, at No. 3 to Mayer. The Cardinals also won at No. 6, with Allan losing to Gustafsson, 7-5, 6-2.

Middle Tennessee's lone win in singles before the final two points of the match came at No. 4, where Schledorn defeated Johnson, 6-1, 6-4.

Middle Tennessee plays again Saturday at 6 p.m. against Belmont at the Racquet Club. The Blue Raiders hit the road next weekend with matches at 55th-ranked Virginia Tech on Saturday and 43rd-rated Georgia Tech on Monday.

#65 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 4, #52 LOUISVILLE 3
SINGLES

1. Octavian Nicodim (UL) def. Trevor Short (MT), 6-4, 6-4
2. Andreas Siljestrom (MT) def. Jhonny Berrido (UL) 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (10-8)
3. Matt Mayer (UL) def. Kirk Jackson (MT), 6-2, 6-2
4. Kai Schledorn (MT) def. Damar Johnson (UL), 6-1, 6-4
5. Rishan Kuruppu (MT) def. Jeremy Clark (UL), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
6. Jakob Gustafsson (UL) def. Brandon Allan (MT), 7-5, 6-2

DOUBLES
1. (46) Allan-Schledorn (MT) def. Clark-Mayer (UL), 8-5
2. Gustafsson-Nicodim (UL) def. (30) Jackson-Short (MT), 8-6
3. Kuruppu-Siljestrom (MT) def. Johnson-Berrido (UL), 8-5

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