Men’s Tennis: After weekend wins, streak extends to five matches

The University of Miami men’s tennis team extended their winning streak to five after defeating two ACC foes this weekend at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. The Hurricanes, ranked No. 37 in the nation, defeated the University of Maryland 4-2 on Saturday and downed Boston College 7-0 on Sunday to improve to 4-1 in conference play.

Despite the convincing victories, the ‘Canes lost their All-American star Danny Vallverdu on Saturday after he suffered a sprained ankle during his singles match against the Terrapins. Vallverdu is scheduled to see a doctor on Monday and believes he could be out at least two weeks, forcing Head Coach Mario Rincon to shift around his lineup.

“Danny is a great player and it is always tough to lose someone like that,” Rincon said. “But I’m sure our guys will be able to step up.”

In the first match of the weekend, the Hurricanes were able to fend off a tough Maryland team with superb doubles play from the entire team and clutch singles performances from their two seniors, Luigi D’Agord and Josh Cohen.

“[D’Agord and Cohen] are so good and so tough to beat,” Rincon said. “It is really comforting, as a coach, to have guys like that who consistently go out and win matches.”

The biggest victory of the day, however, belonged to freshman J.C. Whitner at the No. 5 singles spot. With the Hurricanes clinging to a 3-2 lead, Whitner was able to seal the victory over the Terps, winning the second set in a tiebreaker.

On Sunday, despite Vallverdu’s absence from the lineup, the ‘Canes were able to blank the BC Eagles in convincing fashion. All of the singles players, with the exception of No. 1 D’Agord, were forced to move up one slot to fill in for the injured Vallverdu, who normally plays No. 2 for the Hurricanes.

After suffering a tough three-set loss to Maryland, No. 3 singles player Vivek Subramanian was able to bounce back with an exciting comeback victory over the Eagles on Sunday. He dropped the first set 2-6, but regained his composure and won the next two 6-2, 7-6, respectively.

“Vivek needed that comeback,” Rincon said. “He’s a very emotional player and I think that win was huge for his confidence.”

The Hurricanes have been very impressive as of late, winning five in a row after previously losing six straight. Rincon attributes this to their latest matches being held at home.

“Playing at home has certainly made a big difference,” Rincon said. “It has cured our confidence, and I think has led to the freshmen playing a lot better.”

The Hurricanes won’t be celebrating this win streak for too long, though, as they enter the heart of the ACC schedule next weekend.

“These matches were really important for our confidence,” D’Agord said. “We had to win them to get ready for the tougher teams.”

The Hurricanes will take their first road trip in nearly two and half weeks next weekend, as they travel to Tobacco Road to face conference opponents North Carolina and Duke.

“[Duke and UNC] are both top 15 teams,” Rincon said. “Winning on the road is really important and I am sure our guys can respond positively.”

Zack Loss may be contacted at