In the Hurricanes’ final home match of the 2011 season, the 24th-ranked men’s tennis team honored its five graduating seniors before cruising to victory over Boston College, 6-1.
“We had a great day today,” head coach Mario Rincon said. “We’ve had a great time together and have been through a lot. We bounced back from a disappointing year last year and today is a great day because we’ve come together and are having a great season.”
This win boosted Miami to 14-5 overall on the season and 8-1 in ACC play.
After losing the first doubles match, Miami won No. 2 and 3 to take the lead 1-0. Eduardo Pavia and Pedro Ast knocked off their opponents at No. 3 doubles, improving to 6-1 in conference play. Keith Crowley and freshman Omar Aly won their second match of the weekend at No. 2 doubles, clinching the point for UM.
“This was Omar’s second match with me at doubles,” said Crowley, a senior. “There’s a lot of pressure and this is some good experience for him. So far, he’s done his job for the team.”
The doubles matches were followed by a brief ceremony honoring the team’s seniors, Christian Blocker, Waylon Chin, Carl Sundberg, Eduardo Pavia and Crowley.
“In college tennis you spend so much time together because it’s a relatively small group,” Rincon said. “You get to know each other very well, and the nice thing about it is when they graduate they are your friends. I’m looking forward to enjoying the coming years as friends with them.”
In singles play, Crowley won his fifth straight match at the No. 2 position to give Miami a 2-0 lead, beating Boston College’s Alex Skinner 6-1, 6-1. Crowley is now 15-6 overall and 7-2 in ACC matches.
“There was a lot of emotion out there today,” Crowley said of Senior Day. “We went out there and took care of business.”
Pavia won his match at No. 5 singles, followed quickly by a win at No. 6 by freshman Gabriel Flores, which gave Miami a 4-0 lead and secured the win. Sundberg won in straight sets at No. 4, as did Chin at No. 3.
Boston College’s one point came at No. 1 singles, where Blocker lost a hard-fought match against Akash Muppidi, 6-4, 7-5.
“Christian had a really tough match,” Rincon said. “He played really well in the second set. He was aggressive and taking control of the points.”
Despite Blocker’s loss, Rincon is not worried about his play and expects him to come out strong in the final leg of the season.
Miami hits the road to close out the season against North Carolina and Duke, ranked No. 17 and No. 11, respectively. The Canes are currently 3-0 on the road against ACC opponents, having picked up wins against Florida State, Wake Forest, and NC State. Still, they know that to keep that streak alive, they’re going to face a battle in North Carolina.
“They’re good opponents,” Rincon said. “We’ve got good chances and will hopefully play our best tennis.”
Darci Miller can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.