Key Singles Wins Propel Tiger Netters Past Cal Poly To Conclude Spring Break Trip
March 14, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. - The Memphis men's tennis team's journey to the Great American Southwest concluded on Friday with a come from behind victory over the Cal Poly Mustangs at the Robson Tennis Center in Tucson, Ariz. With the score in Memphis' advantage at 3-2 and the result of the match still well in doubt, the decision of the match came down to the newest addition to the U of M men's tennis line-up, Michael Hayes. Hayes, a junior from London, England, who has only been with the team since January after transferring from Brunel University, strung together three-straight points to overcome a 4-3 deficit to Robert Foy to take the match and solidify Memphis' ninth win of the season.
"This is a great start to the second half of the season," said Memphis assistant coach Mark Finnegan. "To battle back after dropping the doubles point showed great character and heart to be able to pull off the upset of Cal Poly. It was a great team effort all around to be able to defeat a very talented Cal Poly team. The guys were up to the challenge."
The Tigers move to 9-6 on the season with the defeat of the Mustangs. Cal Poly falls to 4-7 on the season. The Mustangs' lost to Memphis is the program's only loss on the season to a team not ranked among the top 75 teams in the country. Cal Poly has also picked up wins over two teams ranked in the top 75.
Friday's match opened with the Mustangs taking all three doubles matches to take the lead early, 1-0. At the No. 1 doubles spot, the tandem of Andrew Gerst and Alexander Sonneson escaped with an 8-6 victory over Spencer Heflin and Jorge Vazquez. Heflin and Vazquez' record now stands at 4-5 this season.
At the No. 3 slot, Foy and Darryn Young defeated Charlie Ramsay and Hayes, 8-5. The loss was the first of the season for the duo of Ramsay and Hayes. They are now 3-1 with the loss.
Trying to rebound from a tough start in doubles, the Memphis Tigers were poised to pull off the victory in the singles portion of the match. The U of M came out quickly winning the first set in five-of-six singles matches. At No. 6 singles, Michael Gaerthoeffner, a sophomore from Rheine, Germany, dominated Sebastian Bell, winning the match, 6-1, 6-1. Gaerthoeffner's record now stands at 6-7 on the year.
"That was the best match that Michael (Gaerthoeffner) has played the entire year", Finnegan said.
With the match now tied 1-1 after a Gaerthoeffner victory, Nasemann, a sophomore from Wuppertahl, Germany, looked to put the Tigers ahead, 2-1. After sweeping the first set, 6-0, over Sonneson, Nasemann proceeded to come away with the victory in the second set, 6-4, to put the U of M in the driver's seat for the time being. With the win, Nasemann's record is now 8-9.
Memphis extended their lead to 3-1 with a win from Vazquez, the nation's 73rd-ranked singles netter. A senior from La Coruna, Spain, Vazquez upended Gerst, 6-2, 6-3. Vazquez, twice named the C-USA Player of the Week this season, has produced a record of 10-5 in his first season of competition for the Tigers.
Cal Poly closed in on the Tigers with a come from behind win at the No. 2 spot. After winning the first set, Fischer, a senior from Dusseldorf, Germany, dropped the remaining two sets to Jacobs. Fischer's record fell to 7-10 with the narrow defeat. Following a Hayes victory to take the match for the Tigers, Ramsay, a junior from Chattanooga, Tenn., came back from a 7-6 loss in the first set, to take the second set, 7-6, and a super tiebreaker, 10-8, to make the final match score, 5-2, with Memphis as the victor. Ramsay is now 7-8 on the season.
Memphis ended their road trip to Arizona with a 3-1 record, picking up wins over Cal Poly, Glendale Community College and Scottsdale Community College. Their only loss came to No. 19 Arizona.
The Tigers will return to the Bluff City for a home double-header at the University of Memphis Tennis Courts on March 18. The matches will mark the first time in nearly four years that the Memphis men's tennis team has played a match on the campus of the U of M.