March 1, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – With so many matches decided by just a point for the Lamar men’s tennis team this season, the doubles round has often been the deciding factor, and Saturday proved no different as the Cardinals picked up a 4-3 win over Troy at Southern Miss Tennis Courts.
“Doubles was big for us today, and it felt good to get the point after we’ve had some struggles in that area,” head coach Scott Shankles said. “It gave us more confidence going into singles play, and Mikko clinched the match for us by always playing ahead. Juuso and Michael were also solid, and even though we didn’t win in the other singles matches, all three of the guys fought hard.”
The win snapped LU’s three-game skid as the Cards improved to 7-5 on the year.
After the duo of Nikita Lis and Steven McMullan fell to Pablo Moreno and Daniel Bustamante at No. 2 doubles, the other two courts turned into battles. Ultimately the tandem of Michael Feucht and Juuso Laitinen as well as that of Mikko Rajamaki and Jeandre Hoogenboezem held on for 8-6 victories, giving LU the early 1-0 lead.
Feucht doubled the advantage in singles, beating Gabriel Sciacca Dias 6-1 in the first set. The Trojan No. 1 ultimately retired in the second set, and Laitinen put LU a point away from victory at No. 3, handing Karen Khachatryan a 6-3, 6-0 decision.
The celebration would have to wait, however, as Daniel Bustamante beat Carl-Philip Lindqvist
6-0, 6-2 at the fourth position, and Hoogenboezem fell 6-3, 7-6 (3) on line six.
Rajamaki, who has often played the role of closer this season, secured the victory with a 6-2, 6-3 decision over Mansingh Athare at No. 5.
In the second spot, Lis lost 6-3, 6-4 to Sami Ghorbel.
The Cards will return to action on Sunday vs. Southern Miss. First serve is set for 10 a.m.