Blue Raiders Rally to Defeat Indiana State

February 3, 2002 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The 38th-ranked Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders trailed late in the final two matches before prevailing to defeat Indiana State, 4-3, in men's tennis action late Saturday evening in Terre Haute, Ind.

The Blue Raiders (3-0) won the doubles point to open the match, but then dropped singles match at the No. 2, 3 and 5 positions to trail 3-2 with two matches to play. Sophomores Trevor Short and Michael Staniak were playing in the final matches for the Blue Raiders, and both players trailed late in the third set.

Short fell behind 3-5 in the final set to ISU's Dalibor Mihajlovic, but turned the tide to win the final four games of the match and prevail, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, knotting the match at three points apiece.

Staniak and Henry Choi were locked in a third-set tiebreaker, and Choi had three match points at 6-4 in the breaker. But Staniak won the next two points but fell behind again at 6-7 with Choi serving. Choi served an ace and the match looked to be over, but the judge ruled a foot-fault, and Choi double-faulted to even the score at seven.

Staniak then won the next two points to take the tiebreaker 9-7, winning the match 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, and giving the Blue Raiders the 4-3 team victory.

The doubles gave Middle Tennessee an early edge, with the ninth-ranked tandem of Oliver Foreman and Robert Gustafsson winning 8-3 over Stefan Hirn and David O'Connell. The 34th-ranked team of Daniel Klemetz and Kirk Jackson won 8-4 over Choi and Vedran Vidovic to earn the doubles point for the Blue Raiders. The No. 3 doubles position went to ISU, with Lovre Brajkovic and Mihajlovic defeating 51st-ranked Short and Staniak, 8-5.

Twelth-ranked Klemetz defeated 56th-rated Vidovic, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 1 singles, the Blue Raiders only win in singles before Short and Staniak's victories at the end of the match.

The 92nd-ranked Brajkovic defeated 102nd-rated Foreman, 6-2, 0-6, 7-6 (4), at No. 2, while 27th-ranked Gustafsson fell 3-6, 6-7 (5) at the No. 3 position. Jackson lost 0-6, 3-6 to O'Connell for the Sycamores other point of the match.

"It was a very tough match, and a good one for us to win," MT head coach Dale Short said. "We really had to fight and Trevor and Michael were really big for us in the match."

The Blue Raiders return home Tuesday with a 3 p.m. match against Chattanooga at the Racquet Club.

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