Oct. 6, 2013
Ron Wesbrooks Invitational Final Results
BEAUMONT - With representatives in all six flight championships, head coach Scott Shankles was looking for a big day from his Lamar men's tennis team, and he got one as the Cardinals took home both doubles titles and a pair of singles titles on the last day of the Ron Wesbrooks Invitational at Thompson Family Tennis Center on Sunday.
"I was pleased with how we were able to finish most of our finals today," Shankles said. "We had some great, great championship matches. Michael, Juuso and Mikko all played thrilling matches. They all battled hard for three sets today, and you just have to give it to them. Overall, it was a good tournament for us."
The success started early with the morning doubles round. The Cards were guaranteed success at the first flight as the team of Nikita Lis and Steven McMullan beat out their LU compatriots of Juuso Laitinen and Mikko Rajamaki in 8-4 fashion.
Following the win, all attention turned to Court 2, where Jeandre Hoogenboezem and Michael Feucht were battling it out for the second flight title with Sebastian Job and Alejandro Sanoja of UTPA. The Red and White tandem came out victorious, winning 8-5.
"I think that I play really well with Jeandre in doubles," Feucht said. "He has a really good approach, and we played well this tournament. I like to play in doubles, and I think I'm good at it. It was fun."
They would carry that success into singles as Feucht took home the individual title in Flight One, and Hoogenboezem made short work of his opponent in the third flight.
After winning his first three matches with relative ease, Feucht faced his first real challenge of the tournament in Tyler Junior College's Vaughn Hunter. The German dropped the opening set 6-2, but bounced back for a 7-5 nail-biter in the second to send the game to a decisive third, where he won 6-2.
"I didn't play my best tennis in the first set," Feucht explained. "I like how I fought back, and it was quite close in the second set as well, but I kept getting better. It's a great feeling to win my first tournament with Lamar and go undefeated. It's a good start, so I'm going to work hard and try to keep it going."
"Feucht really showed some maturity beyond his age with the way he fought back today," Shankles said. "He really hung in there, and I have to give some credit to [student assistant coach] Rob Lee for helping him out and keeping him focused. Michael did exactly what we talked about and stayed balanced through that second and third set. He played a very high quality opponent too, and it was a great win for him."
Hoogenboezem, who had a tough match with UTPA's Chetan Panditi to open the tournament, turned it on over the event's final three matches. The South African dropped just three games in the pair of straight-sets victories that led into the final. Fortunately for the Cards, it was more of the same on Sunday, as the freshman handed UTPA's Sanoja a 6-0, 6-3 decision.
Both Rajamaki and Laitinen were in for long matches in their respective flights as each fell in three-set heartbreakers. Laitinen got off to a hot start against Josip Smoljan of Incarnate Word in the second flight, winning the first set 6-2. However, the visitor from San Antonio bounced back to take home a 6-3 victory in the second and held on for a 7-6 win in the third after Laitinen battled back from a 5-1 deficit to force the tiebreaker.
Rajamaki, who was taking on Nicholls' Jeoffrey Noblecourt, dropped the opening stanza 7-6 before evening it up in 6-2 fashion in the second. The two battled it out in the third, but Noblecourt managed to pull ahead for the 6-4 win.
In other singles action, Lis, McMullan and Carl-Philip Lindqvist each participated in third place matches. Lis fell 6-2, 6-1 to UIW's Jair Assuncao in the first flight. The other two made up for it as Lindqvist beat Trey Seymour (7-5, 6-4) and Steven McMullan won over Dillon Eizember (7-5, 6-2), both of TJC.
Trey Crysel was the only other Card to compete, falling 7-6, 6-2 to TJC's John King in Flight Four's seventh place match.
King and Crysel also faced off in doubles earlier in the day, joined by their respective teammates in Eizember and Lindqvist. TJC was victorious in this case as well, winning 8-2 in the seventh place match of Flight Two.
Lamar will return to action later this month at the ITA Regional Championship in Waco.