Feb. 22, 2014
FT. WORTH – After seeing its four-match win streak snapped by South Carolina Upstate in a 4-3 nail-biter on Saturday afternoon, the Lamar men’s tennis team returned to the courts later in the day for a 7-0 loss to 35th-ranked TCU at Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.
It was a barnburner throughout much of the showdown with USC Upstate, beginning with an 8-3 doubles victory by Michael Feucht and Juuso Laitinen over Yvon Haessig and Ramon Simonetti at the top spot. Gonzalo Blanco and Matthias Kidler returned the favor with a win by the same score over Jeandre Hoogenboezem and Mikko Rajamaki at No. 2. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Pedro Carvalho and Rajanvir Dharni held on for an 8-6 decision against Nikita Lis and Trey Crysel at the third position.
The three freshmen at the top of the lineup kept up their recent form as Feucht handed Simonetti a 6-0, 6-2 decision, and Lis picked up where he left off at No. 2, winning 6-3, 6-3 over Blanco. Laitinen battled in the first set vs. Haessig at line three, but he was able to coast in the second, winning 7-6, 6-0.
However, Jamie Yates picked up a 6-4, 3-0 win at No. 4 over Lindqvist, who wasn’t able to complete the match, and Hoogenboezem fell 6-3, 7-6 to Carlos Tajes, meaning it all came down to Rajamaki at the fifth spot. The Finland native fell in a heart-breaker to Dharni, losing 2-6, 6-4, 4-6.
“It was a tough loss for us vs. Upstate,” head coach Scott Shankles said. “We got off to slow starts in two of the doubles matches and three of the singles matches, and you just can’t do that against good teams. We fought hard in singles, and Michael, Nikita and Juuso played awesome tennis. This is a big lesson for us to learn from.”
The rest of the afternoon wasn’t as dramatic as TCU gave ample reason as to why it’s ranked 35th
in the nation. The Horned Frogs got a quick start as Hudson Blake and Rodolfo Bustamante secured the doubles point with an 8-1 win over Crysel and Lis.
In other doubles matches, Arnau Dachs and Trey Daniel beat Rajamaki and Hoogenboezem 8-0, and Feucht and Laitinen engaged the 18th-ranked tandem of Nick Chappell and Will Stein in a battle at No 1 that was left undecided with the score at 5-6.
“Michael and Juuso were feeling it, so I wish that they would’ve gotten a chance to finish their match,” Shankles said. “TCU played great from beginning to end, and they are a tough team to play in singles.”
Chappell, who is ranked No. 77 in singles, beat Feucht 6-3, 6-3 at No. 1, and Facundo Lugones, the No. 60 player in the country, defeated Lis 6-3, 6-2 at the second spot. Dachs took care of Laitinen in 6-0, 6-0 fashion at No. 3 to clinch the match.
In the fourth spot, Rajamaki fell 6-3, 6-2 to Bustamante, and Hoogenboezem came out on the wrong side of a tiebreaker, losing 6-4, 2-6, 4-10 to Daniel.
Jhonathan Gonzalez rounded out singles, beating Crysel 6-2, 6-1.
LU will return to action on Sunday with a match against San Francisco.