Kuruppu's W Gives Men's Tennis, 4-3, Victory

March 26, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Senior Rishan Kuruppu won the final match on the court in straight sets, as 38th-ranked Middle Tennessee won a seesaw affair with 18th-ranked Louisville, 4-3, in men's tennis action Sunday afternoon at the Buck Bouldin Tennis Center.

Middle Tennessee (10-6) won the doubles point and singles matches at Nos. 2, 5 and 6, matching the visiting Cardinals each time they won a singles outing and pulled even in the dual match. Blue Raider head coach Dale Short said it was a big win for his team, especially for the guys at the bottom of the lineup.

"In the first half of the season we lost a lot of these 4-3 matches and now we've got guys like Morgan [Richard] and Rishan stepping up," Short said. "It's fantastic that it came down to Rish and he was able to come through with a win after struggling so much in singles the last month."

Middle Tennessee won the doubles point in the match, but did it without the help of the No. 5 tandem in the country.

Louisville's Jeremy Clark and Jakub Gustafsson defeated fifth-ranked Marco Born and Andreas Siljestrom, 8-5, at No. 1.

But Middle Tennessee's Brandon Allan and Kai Schledorn won 8-4 at No. 2 over Jhonny Berrido and Damar Johnson before Greg Pollack and Richard won a squeaker and the decider, 9-7, at No. 3, over UL's Stefan Naughton and Slavko Radman.

The Cardinals and 96th-ranked Radman wasted little time tying the match in singles, though, with Radman defeating 55th-rated Siljestrom, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 1. But Richard came right back with a 6-1, 6-2, trouncing of Berrido at No. 5 for a 2-1 Middle Tennessee advantage.

UL's Gustafsson tied the match again with a 6-3, 6-3, triumph over Schledorn at No. 3, but Born came through with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (5) victory at No. 2, putting the Blue Raiders back in front.

Louisville tied with match at three when Clark outlasted Allan at No. 4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, leaving everything to Kuruppu and Nicolas Houard at No. 6.

Kuruppu won a first-set tiebreaker, 7-3, and cruised in the second set, 6-2, for Middle Tennessee's 10th win of the season. Short said not everything is working well right now, but his team had enough to pick up a big victory.

"If we can get everyone playing well, we can be a great team, but right now we've got a couple of guys struggling, especially Andreas," Short said. "We need him to get going if we want to challenge very much in the NCAA's. But we really helped ourselves heading into the Sun Belt Shootout in a few weeks and with the NCAA Tournament with this win. It took a total team effort and that's what we got."

Middle Tennessee hosts South Florida Friday at 2 p.m. Friday at the Buck Bouldin Tennis Center. The Sun Belt Shootout will feature South Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas-Little Rock on April 8-9 in Murfreesboro.

#38 Middle Tennessee 4, #18 Louisville 3

1. (96) Slavko Radman (UL) def. (55) Andreas Siljestrom (MT), 6-3, 6-2
2. Marco Born (MT) def. Damar Johnson (UL), 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (5)
3. Jakub Gustafsson (UL) def. Kai Schledorn (MT), 6-3, 6-3
4. Jeremy Clark (UL) def. Brandon Allan (MT), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
5. Morgan Richard (MT) def. Jhonny Berrido (UL), 6-1, 6-2
6. Rishan Kuruppu (MT) def. Nicolas Houard (UL), 7-6 (3), 6-2
Order of Finish: 1,5,3,2,4,6

1. Clark-Gustafsson (UL) def. (5) Born-Siljestrom (MT), 8-5
2. Allan-Schledorn (MT) def. Berrido-Johnson (UL), 8-4
3. Pollack-Richard (MT) def. Stefan Naughton-Radman (UL), 9-7
Order of Finish: 1,2,3

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