Oct. 5, 2013
BEAUMONT – Head coach Scott Shankles didn’t have much to complain about on Saturday as he saw impressive performances all around from his Lamar men’s tennis team during the second day of the Ron Wesbrooks Invitational at Thompson Family Tennis Center.
Perhaps it’s fitting that in an event named after the legendary coach that the Cardinals will be represented in all six flight championships, which are scheduled to begin on Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
In the first flight, Michael Feucht continued to impress in his first collegiate event, picking up a decisive 6-1, 6-3 victory over UTSA’s Bob Kamiljanov to improve to 3-0 and advance to the final, where he’ll go toe-to-toe with Vaughn Hunter out of Tyler Junior College. Hunter secured his berth with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Nikita Lis.
“Michael has won each match in straight sets, and he’s done a good job of staying ahead,” Shankles said. “He hasn’t had to come from behind in any of his matches, which is a testament to his focus and his concentration level. He’s really worked hard in those two aspects of his game, and he’s been able to show that this weekend.”
Lis will take on Jair Assuncao of Incarnate Word for third place in the flight.
In the second, Juuso Laitinen handed TJC’s Trey Seymour a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 decision to advance to the final, where the Finland native will challenge UIW’s Josip Smoljan.
“Juuso’s match today was really tough,” Shankles explained. “It was a good first set, but then Seymour came back there in the second and played much better. Both played well in the third, and I was proud that Juuso didn’t let that second get him down. He stayed positive, and he really came through and closed the match out well.”
bounced back from an injury-shortened day on Friday for a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kolby Kilgo, and he’ll battle Seymour for third place on Sunday.
Jeandre Hoogenboezem put up the most impressive score line of the day in Flight Three, routing TJC’s Dillon Eizember for a 6-2, 6-0 victory. The freshman out of South Africa will be matched up with Alejandro Sanoja of UTPA in the final.
“Jeandre, like Michael, has been really focused,” Shankles said. “He’s been hitting the ball really, really well. He’s been serving great, and he’s just been solid. There’s really no other word I can use for him. Hopefully, Jeandre will continue that tomorrow.”
Steven McMullan, who had a rough day due to the heat and humidity on Friday, had no such issues Saturday, winning 6-1, 6-2 over UTSA’s Fabian Brand. He’ll be taking on UIW’s Brandon Davis for fifth place.
In the fourth and final singles flight, Mikko Rajamaki grabbed a 6-2, 6-3 victory over UTPA’s Joseph Bishop. The junior out of Finland is set to take on Nicholls’ Jeoffrey Noblecourt for the crown.
Crysel fell to 0-3 in the tournament, dropping a 6-4, 6-3 decision to Noblecourt.
In doubles, the Flight One title is guaranteed to go to a Cardinal as the team of Laitinen and Rajamaki beat Kamiljanov and Kilgo 8-3 in the top half of the bracket, and the duo of Lis and McMullan recorded an 8-2 victory over Nicholls’ Evan Karatzas and Siddarth Sivakumar in the bottom half.
“It’s a great position for us to be in,” Shankles said. “We need to continue to play our game and not lose our focus on the strategy. It’s nice to have good solid doubles teams after last few years, and all eight guys are doing well. We practice it a lot, and hopefully we can keep it going.”
In the second flight, Feucht and Hoogenboezem teamed up for an 8-2 win over the team of Brand and Noblecourt to advance to the final, where they’ll take on Sebastian Job and Sanoja of UTPA.
Crysel and Lindqvist lost 8-5 to Britton Blair and Alex Free of TJC.
Doubles finals will be played at 9 a.m. on Sunday, and singles are scheduled to start at 10:30.