The men’s tennis team fell short to the top squad in the nation, the Florida Gators, 5-2, on Friday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
The Hurricanes (2-1) entered the match having swept Florida State earlier in the week.
Luigi D’Agord and Danny Vallverdu played at the No. 1 doubles position, successfully beating UF’s Ryan Sweeting and Vladimir Obradovic 8-5. The Nos. 2 and 3 doubles tandems followed suit, winning 8-6 and 9-8 respectively to earn the doubles point for Miami.
The Hurricanes gained confidence from their doubles win and entered singles play with high hopes. At the No. 1 singles position, D’Agord lost in straight sets 7-5, 6-2. His performance was less than what Hurricane fans have come to look forward to from D’Agord.
“Luigi wasn’t at his best today. I would’ve expected him to win that match,” Head Coach Mario Rincon said. “Hopefully he will rebound and play better.”
Vallverdu put up a fight against UF’s Greg Ouellette, losing 2-6 in the first set, winning the second set 6-3 and finally being overpowered 6-2 in the third.
Josh Cohen was downed in straight sets by Obradovic, who is No. 90 in singles.
Tim Krebs was the only successful ‘Cane in singles, coming back after losing 4-6 in the first set to win 6-2, 6-4.
“The toughest part was at the beginning. I was nervous because we had just won the doubles point and saw our opportunity and we really wanted to get into it,” Krebs said. “I got down the break right away, lost the set, got down the break again and just got fired up and came back.”
Rincon said he was impressed with Krebs’ performance against such a strong opponent.
“Tim played a really good match for us. Compared to last year he has improved a lot,” Rincon said. “Mentally he is just a stronger player out there, he just wants to win badly and last year he didn’t have that fire in him.”
Eric Hechtman at the No. 5 singles position and John Hoyes at No. 6 both lost in straight sets.
“I think we had a great opportunity to upset the No. 1 team in the country and we certainly had chances,” Rincon said. “The beginning of the singles matches affected the outcome of the match because it took us a while to get going.”
Rincon said changes would be made to bounce back from the match.
“We’re going to practice harder, we’re going to train harder and the guys need to re-focus and know that they need to work harder to get where we want to be,” he said.
The 5-2 loss to the Gators is an improvement from last year’s 6-1 defeat.
“We’re going to take this as a positive loss,” Krebs said. “You can lose against the No. 1 team in the country. We’re going to win a lot of our other matches.”
Stacey Arnold can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.