BEAUMONT - As the first day of play wound down at the Lamar Cardinal Classic at Thompson Family Tennis Center on Friday, head coach Scott Shankles was pleased but saw room for improvement out of the Cardinal's men's tennis team.
"We're not where we want to be, but I think our guys battled well today," Shankles said. "We went 3-6 in singles and 1-2 in doubles, but we had a couple guys play really well. Overall, I still feel good about our day."
The tournament is employing a unique pool format, and most players competed in three matches on Friday, which made for a long day of work, a fact not lost on Shankles.
"It was very hot today and a little bit humid as well," Shankles said. "It was tough out here, but tomorrow won't be as rough on them physically. They'll have a chance to go home and sleep in their own beds tonight, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they play tomorrow."
In singles play, both Rob Lee and Carl-Philip Lindqvist competed in the top flight. Lee got the Cards going with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over UTPA's Yosua Adayasi in the first round of Pool A before falling 6-3, 6-1 to Jake Wynan of Louisiana later in the day.
"I felt like I played well in my first match this morning," Lee explained. "I hit a lot of winners and I was pleased. I think I played well in the second match too, but I just wasn't able to come out with the win. I'm just going to give it my all tomorrow and see what the day brings."
In Pool B, Lindqvist fell 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 to Jonathan Chang of Rice and 6-3, 6-4 to Jarred Wynan.
Bruno Snyder picked up the second Lamar singles win of the day with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 decision over Chetan Panditi of UTPA in the opening round of Flight 2, but the sophomore later fell in 6-4, 7-5 fashion to Louisiana's Hunter Goertz.
Snyder still has a chance to win Pool B with a win over Nicholls' Dmitry Kozionov on Saturday. The win, combined with a favorable result in the pool's other match would earn Snyder a berth in Sunday's championship match.
In Flight 3, Mikko Rajamaki lost 6-2, 6-2 to Gustavo Gonzalez of Rice and 6-3, 6-3 to UL's Carl Alberton.
Steven McMullan is still in contention in the fourth flight, which is set up in the more traditional bracket format. The freshman earned a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Frankie Hoar of UL and will take on another Ragin' Cajun, Mauricio Fosado, in the semifinals on Saturday.
Earlier in day, the Cardinals went 1-2 in doubles play with Lee and McMullan falling 8-6 to Nicholls' Jamie Eccleton and James Russell in the top flight, and Snyder and Lindqvist losing to Goertz and Fosado in the second flight.
Juuso Laitinen, who is competing in the Cardinal Classic as unattached, combined with Rajamaki to take home an 8-5 win over UL's Coleman Wahlborg and Carl Alberton.
Laitinen is also playing singles and went 1-1 on the day, defeating UTSA's Boburjon Kamiljanov 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in Flight 2 before losing 6-2, 7-5 to Eccleton.
The second day of play is set to begin on Saturday with doubles starting at 9 a.m. and singles at 10:30 a.m.