While most people were enjoying their Spring Break on a beach somewhere, the men’s tennis team was toughing out a grueling week of challenging matches. During this period, they split their four matches, which included ACC opponent Clemson and rivals the Florida Gators among others.
They started the week with a 5-2 loss to Ohio State on Mar. 10. The Buckeyes picked up the doubles point, despite Luigi D’Agord and Josh Cohen winning their match 8-6. After losing the No. 3, 4 and 5 positions to seal the loss, the ‘Canes picked up a couple of points with wins from Daniel Vallverdu and D’Agord.
Their second loss was a bigger defeat, as the Hurricanes were swept 7-0 by the Florida Gators.
On Friday, the ‘Canes finally snapped their 6-game losing skid by defeating Clemson 5-2 in their ACC opener.
“We went out there and beat a very talented Clemson team,” Head Coach Mario Rincon said. “Our guys really felt that we needed a win, and they put together a great team effort to accomplish that.”
The ‘Canes started off by winning the doubles point, thanks to the duo of Cohen and D’Agord, who improved to 12-3 on the season with the 8-3 win. The No. 2 team of Daniel Vallverdu and Vivek Subramanian also picked up a win, defeating their opponents 8-4.
D’Agord faced Clement Reix in singles; Reix was responsible for knocking D’Agord from the NCAA Tournament last year in the Round of 16. In their latest match-up, D’Agord dropped the first set 4-6, but came back to dominate the last two, winning 6-1 in both.
Miami’s stellar singles play saw freshman Hector Nieto’s first career ACC win.
“I’ve been having tough losses this season,” Nieto said. “I was down and came back and gave everything I had. It was a relief to win that match.”
The ‘Canes’ wrapped up last week with their eighth straight match against a top-30 ranked team.
On Sunday, they picked up another big win against Rice, winning a close match 4-3.
Vallverdu picked up the clincher in his singles match, winning the last two sets.
“I started off playing really bad in the first set, but then started getting into the match,” Vallverdu said. “I had to give a little more the last two sets, but my win meant as much as everyone else’s.”
The win put Miami’s at 6-7 on the season, with three ACC matches to face this week.
There’s no rest for the struggling team that has its sights set on post season tournaments.
“The ACC schedule is the toughest in the country,” he said. “I think we arrived in healthy and in good spirits, and we’re going to have to win on the road.”