Max Andrews cruises to victory, Stephanie Wagner falls in semifinals

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Third-seeded junior Max Andrews won the singles bracket of the Dick Vitale Lakewood Ranch Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic on Sunday in Sarasota. He defeated Minnesota’s Ruben Weber, the tournament’s fourth seed, in two sets 6-4, 6-4.

On his way to the finals, Andrews topped Princeton’s Benjamin Tso in the quarterfinals in two short sets, 6-3, 6-1, and bested fellow Hurricane sophomore Christian Langmo in the semifinals on Saturday.

The match was close as they split the first two sets, but the second-seeded Langmo was forced to retire in the third set with an injury, giving Andrews the victory.

Earlier on Saturday, Langmo and Andrews played together as a doubles duo. They reached the doubles semifinals, where they lost to Florida Gulf Coast’s tandem of Andres Alfonzo and Oliver Landert.

Sophomore Niclas Genovese also saw action in the singles bracket. He was able to the push top-seeded Tom Colautti of Princeton to a close match before eventually falling in a third set.

Members of the women’s tennis team competed as well this weekend. For the second consecutive year, senior Stephanie Wagner reached the semifinals of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships (NIIC) in Flushing, New York. Wagner, the No. 6 player in the country, lost to the top-ranked freshman of the tournament, Ohio State’s Francesca Di Lorenzo, in straight sets on Saturday.

Early on in the first set of the match, Wagner fell behind, dropping four of the first five games. After winning three of the next four games, she drew within one point of tying the set at five a piece, but was unable to score at the critical juncture. Wagner lost both sets 6-4, 6-4.

“Steffi struggled today with putting a complete match together and recognizing the way she was winning point[s],” Associate Head Coach Laura Vallverdu said to HurricaneSports.com.

En route to the semifinals, Wagner defeated two top-ten ranked opponents, upping her total to six top-ten victories all time.

Wagner took down No. 2 Brooke Austin of the University of Florida in three sets in the round of 16. Wagner struggled in the first set, as she got down early and eventually lost 6-3. Bouncing back in the second set, Wagner went up 5-3, but Austin would not allow Wagner to completely reverse the momentum of the match. Austin won the next two games, bringing the set to an even 5-5 score. Wagner recovered to win the next two games for a 7-5 win. The third and final set belonged to Wagner, as she was able to put away Austin 6-4.

After defeating Austin, Wagner advanced to the quarterfinals to face Vanderbilt’s Sydney Campbell. Wagner easily advanced past the seventh-ranked player in two sets 6-3, 6-4.

Vallverdu attributes Wagner’s success not only to her physical game, but also to her improved mental composure.

“Steffi has improved her mental side of the game, which makes her really dangerous,” Vallverdu said to HurricaneSports.com.

No. 13 sophomore Sinead Lohan also was in action in the NIIC. She lost in her first round matchup in two sets to No. 11 Joana Eidukonyte of Clemson. The first set was closely contested, as it went to a tiebreaker with a final score of 7-6, but Lohan lost control of the match in the second set, losing 6-1.

The NIIC and Dick Vitale Clay Court Classic were the Hurricanes’ last tournaments of the fall season. The teams will return to the court in January 2016.

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