Siljestrom the Difference in 4-3 VictoryApril 2, 2004 · MT Media Relations
Middle Tennessee (6-11) won the doubles point to start the match and led 3-1 in singles before the visiting Ragin' Cajuns picked up a victory at No. 4 in three sets and then tied the dual after a match defeault at No. 1. But Siljestrom hung tough and came back from losing the second set, 0-6, defeating Robin Ley, 6-3, in the third set for the Blue Raiders fifth straight home triumph of the season.
After a concerted effort in practice this week to improve doubles play, the Blue Raiders swept two matches to gain the first point of the match.
The Blue Raiders went ahead 1-0 in the match when 28th-ranked Brandon Allan and Kai Schledorn got off to a quick start against Amanjot Singh and Ivan Kovalev at No. 1, taking a 4-1 lead only to watch the Ragin' Cajuns (8-8) duo come back to make it 4-3. But Allan and Schledorn won the final four games to take an 8-3 victory and improve to 23-9 for the year.
Middle Tennessee got out quickly in singles as well, going up a set in three singles matches quickly. Siljestrom, Schledorn and Short all won the first set of their matches, but UL refused to go away.
UL's Shaun Ellison defeated Anant Sitaram at No. 5, 6-1, 6-2, in the first completed singles match. Middle Tennessee's Rishan Kuruppu put the Raiders back in front with a 6-2, 6-0, victory over Tarkowski at No. 6. The Blue Raiders went up 3-1 with a 6-3, 6-0, triumph over Castellana at No. 3.
But Kovalev defeated Short, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 4 before Jackson defaulted at No. 1 after an altercation with Singh, who led 7-6 (3), 4-2, in the second set.
With the match tied, Siljestrom led 4-2 in the final set. The Blue Raider freshman went up, 5-2, before Ley held serve. Siljestrom then served out the match and a 4-3 Middle Tennessee victory.
"We managed to win ugly today. We did not play great tennis," Middle Tennessee head coach Dale Short said. "There was a lot of intensity and pressure in the match because a loss would have assured us a low seed in the conference tournament.
"The win should give us some confidence. We have the talent to win but have been finding ways to lose, but we didn't do that today. Hopefully we can carry this on to Sunday and for the rest of the season."
Middle Tennessee hosts 57th-ranked Old Dominion Sunday at the Buck Bouldin Tennis Center. Middle Tennessee will also host Wally Tidwell Fan Day on Saturday, April 10, at noon with the first 50 fans receiving a Blue Raider Tennis t-shirt.
#74 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 4, #54 LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 3
1. Amanjot Singh (UL) def. Kirk Jackson (MT), 7-6 (3), 4-2, defeault
2. Andreas Siljestrom (MT) def. Robin Ley (UL), 6-4, 0-6, 6-3
3. Kai Schledorn (MT) def. Marc Castellana (UL), 6-3, 6-0
4. Ivan Kovalev (UL) def. Trevor Short (MT), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. Shaun Ellison (UL) def. Anant Sitaram (MT), 6-1, 6-2
6. Rishan Kuruppu (MT) def. Michael Tarkowski (UL), 6-2, 6-0
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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