The No. 35 University of Miami Hurricanes hosted the No. 50 University of South Florida Bulls on Saturday afternoon. They had their largest crowd of the season, despite the baseball game being played next door at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
The Hurricanes were able to avenge last year’s 5-2 loss to the Bulls with a 4-3 win to extend their winning streak to three.
Junior Keith Crowley and Sophomore Hector Nieto continued their solid doubles play, winning 8-4 to get the Hurricanes their first win of the match at the No. 2 position.
Senior Barnabas Carrega got his first start at home in doubles play with sophomore Ignacio Tabadoa in the No.3 position. The pair fell to USF’s 8-6 putting the pressure on junior Christian Blocker and senior David Simon to get the decisive victory for the doubles point.
Blocker and Christian played under the watchful eyes of teammates and fans as they played the last of the doubles games. They were able to get the important win, edging over their opponents 9-7 to give the Canes the 1-0 lead. They extend their season record to 5-0.
“We knew we had to play really good doubles to win against South Florida,” head coach Mario Rincon said. “We managed to do that and it propelled us into singles.”
No. 90 Carl Sundberg did not play doubles, focusing his attention on top Bull opponent No. 59 Wael Kilani.
Sundberg and Blocker did not back down from challenges from their higher competition. Sundberg was able to get a quick lead winning the first set 6-2 over No. 53 Wael Kilani before dropping the final two sets, losing the match 6-2, 3-6, 2-6.
Blocker beat No. 91 Jamaal Adderley 7-5, 6-3 to give Miami the definitive point for the win, extending the Miami lead 4-0.
“We had a really good run there for the first 30 minutes and everyone got up a set. But we knew they would make a run,” said Coach Rincon. “Christian Blöcker came through huge for us in singles.”
Simon and Crowley had straight set wins to gave the Canes a 3-0 lead.
Tabadoa and Santagio Nieto lost tough three set battles despite winning the first sets, 6-4, 4-6, 9-10 and 6-2, 4-6, 1-6 respectively.
The Hurricanes next face No. 19 Florida State, their highest ranked and first ACC opponent of the year, on March 6th at 12:00 p.m. at Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
Debora Rubi may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.