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Blue Raiders fall to No. 33 VCU

McKenzie remains undefeated; injured Melo wins again

February 22, 2009 · MT Athletic Communications
NORFOLK, Va. - Middle Tennessee lost to VCU on Sunday in the final match of its three-match road swing this weekend.

The Blue Raiders lost the doubles point to begin the match but had strong performances. Junior Victor Melo and sophomore John Peers lost their match 9-8 (2) to Benjamin Bouhana and Emil Lindgren.

"It has been a successful weekend. It is certainly disappointing we lost to VCU having chances to win but it is great to see progress out of Kyle Wishing and Alex McCann. They are starting to play with confidence and learning how to win," head coach David McNamara said.

In singles action, the Rams won No. 4 and 3 singles to take a 3-0 lead in the match. Middle Tennessee would not give up winning two straight matches to cut the lead, 3-2. Senior Morgan Richard lost his match 6-3, 6-1 to Nicolas Vinel while Peers lost his match to Thibaut Charron 7-5, 6-2.

Senior Robert McKenzie defeated Martin Schulhauser 6-4, 6-3 to remain undefeated on the season and keep the Blue Raiders alive.

Then Melo won his match 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 over Bouhana in No. 2 singles to cut the VCU lead to one.

"I just want to commend Adam Lewis our athletic trainer for his hard work and getting Victor Melo healthy for this weekend. It was phenomenal and he is one of the best athletic trainers we have had. Without Victor playing in the lineup this weekend it would have been a totally different outcome," McNamara said.

Junior Alex McCann and sophomore Kyle Wishing lost their matches to round out play for the Blue Raiders. McCann fell to Bobo Delemark 7-5, 6-2 while Wishing lost a three-set battle 6-7 (5), 6-0, 6-4 to Lindgren.

The Blue Raiders will have the rest of the week off before traveling to Los Angeles. Middle Tennessee will first play Loyola-Marymount at 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27 before playing Fresno State and San Diego State later in the weekend.

"The good thing from this weekend is the competition is the same type we will see the rest of the season. It is good to go 2-1 with a depleted team and it is promising for the rest of the season. We have had players step-up when we needed them and I can't wait to see how we do when the team is completely healthy," McNamara said.

Singles
1. Robert McKenzie (MT) def. Martin Schulhauser (VCU) 6-4, 6-3
2. Victor Melo (MT) def. Benjamin Bouhana (VCU) 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
3. Thibaut Charron (VCU) def. John Peers (MT) 7-5, 6-2
4. Nicolas Vinel (VCU) def. Morgan Richard (MT) 6-3, 6-1
5. Emil Lindgren (VCU) def. Kyle Wishing (MT) 6-7 (5-7), 6-0, 6-4
6. Bobo Delemark (VCU) def. Alex McCann (MT) 7-5, 6-2

Doubles
1. Benjamin Bouhana/Emil Lindgren (VCU) def. Victor Melo/John Peers (MT) 9-8 (7-2)
2. Bobo Delemark/Thibaut Charron (VCU) def. Robert McKenzie/Morgan Richard (MT) 8-6
3. Nicolas Vinel/Martin Schulhauser (VCU) def. Kyle Wishing/Alex McCann (MT) 8-1

Match Notes:
Middle Tennessee 4-3
Virginia Commonwealth 9-4; National ranking #33
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,3,1,2,6,5)

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