As the men’s tennis team made its last home stand over the weekend, both matches turned out to be unforgettable.
In their first match Friday night versus N.C. State, the Wolfpack, who took a dominant lead over the ‘Canes after winning two of three matches, also claimed the doubles point.
In singles play the men came back motivated. Miami’s first singles point of the night came from junior John Hoyes in a straight-set win 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4 singles. The Wolfpack responded with Andre Iriatre, who downed Vivek Subramanian 6-3, 6-3 at No. 5 singles, leaving the Wolfpack within a point of victory-but that point never came. The 95th-ranked junior Tim Krebs defeated Conor Taylor at No. 2 singles. Sophomore Josh Cohen and junior Eric Hechtman clinched the victory by winning match points at exactly the same time, 6-2, 6-4 and 6-3, 6-4, at No.1 and No. 3 singles, respectively.
Sunday’s match against Duke marked the final home contest for the Hurricanes this season and for Luis Manrique, the lone senior.
“I thought of my final match last night,” Manrique said. “I left the team at one point because I wasn’t enjoying tennis but thanks to [Head Coach] Mario [Rincon] I came back and I am really glad I did.”
In doubles the men started well but lost to the fifth-ranked Blue Devils in two of three matches. Down in doubles, the ‘Canes needed to elevate their singles game to come back. Hechtman downed his counterpart, sophomore Peter Rodrigues, 6-4, 6-4.
Manrique was unable to pull through with a win, uncharacteristically dropping his No. 6 singles match in straight sets 0-6, 3-6.
Krebs gave the Hurricanes a fighting chance but was unable to beat junior Jonathan Stokke at No. 2 singles. Cohen completely outmaneuvered junior Ludovic Walter, who is ranked third nationally.
“It was an amazing feeling to finish my last home match and beat the No.3 player in country,” Cohen said.
Miami will now begin to prepare for the ACC Championships, beginning April 21, but first the men will finish their spring season against in-state rival Florida State on Friday in Tallahassee.
“It’s just satisfying for me to see such improvement in my team and see them play their best,” Rincon said. “If we play like this we have a great chance of doing well in the ACC Championship.”
Antoinette Cordova can be contacted at email@example.com