Feb. 23, 2009
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic University's men's tennis team took a 4-3 match from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Sunday afternoon improving to 7-3 on the season and keeping their win streak alive against teams not-ranked among the countries top 25.
The FAU home contest was played against a fellow Sun Belt Conference member however tennis does not play a complete conference schedule. The two teams took advantage of a beautiful 73 degree sunny day.
"It was a perfect day to play a conference match against a tough Ragin' Cajun team," said Brandon Stokes, FAU's head coach. "We were pleased to earn this team victory because it required emotional and mental control by every Owl. Conference matches are always more emotional and we avoided the emotional peaks and valleys today."
The two teams took to the court for doubles play with Lawrence Harradine and Santiago Nieto got the momentum train rolling with fantastic fundamentals with a convincing 8-4 victory. ULL answered a short time later at no. 2 doubles by countering with strong fundamentals with an 8-6 victory putting pressure on no. 1 doubles. Eddie Majcher and Marc Abdelnour were fought for a service break in the 11th game. ULL returned aggressively and broke immediately and then held serve to stretch the lead to 7-6. FAU then held serve, then broke serve in the 15th game to regain the lead at 8-7. Down 0-40 the duo of Majcher and Abdelnour were relentless. The FAU fans encouragement propelled the team to a dramatic service break. Majcher then raised the level of play down 15-30 after two ULL winners to hit three perfectly placed first serves to clinch the doubles point. A point that later proved to be a deciding match point and all after more than an hour of play.
The Ragin' Cajuns quickly answered with a victory at no. 2 singles to event the match score at one. ULL captured the first set on court four and six and appeared to hold the momentum. Looking to recapture the pace, sophomore Marc Abdelnour captured a straight-set victory at 6-2, 6-3 to keep his record blemish free, 10-9, and validate his climb among the nation's best at no.77.
ULL answered at 5 and 6 singles to see everyone's attention to court three and four where FAU's physical dominance was demonstrated on both courts. At 3:21 Lawrence Harradine walked off court three with a three-set victory 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 to even the team score at three.
The fourth and deciding point would be determined on court four where typical colligate rivalries was playing out. Verbal sparring, official calls and coaching interjections were all on display throughout the 2:15 minute match. Scholl broke early to take control of the third set. The sophomore from Pompano Beach never relinquished. In the seventh game he broke again to take a 5-2 lead and put the match on his racket. He opened the final game with a service winner, followed with a volley winner, a missed backhand return, and a volley winner to the open court to clinch the match for FAU.
The victory marked the fifth consecutive win for the Owls, their only losses have been to opponents ranked among the countries top-25.
We know the areas we must improve," added Stokes. "We will be vigilant in fixing these. We are pleased with where we are at this point in the season but we are not satisfied. We are thankful for our health and the opportunities that await us but we are not complacent. We have a long way to go on this exciting journey to reach our team goals."