Canes overcome Hatters in tough match

The University of Miami (3-2) won a tough match 6-1 over instate rival Stetson (2-2) Friday afternoon in a competition tougher than the final score portrayed.

“Stetson was really tough today and gave us a challenging match,” head coach Mario Rincon said. “We haven’t played in a couple of weeks, so it felt good to get out here and see the guys compete.”

The Hurricanes got their first point from doubles play. Juniors Hector Nieto and Keith Crowley remained undefeated in doubles play (3-0) with an 8-7 (7-4) win.

No. 90 junior Carl Sundberg and sophomore Ignacio Taboada breezed to an 8-3 win their match while junior Christian Blocker and senior David Simon earned their seventh win of the season 8-5.

Sundberg got off to a slow start in his match but was able to recover for a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Maksim Levanovich. Also winning in straight sets was Taboada 6-3, 6-4 over Aleks Hacket and Crowley 6-4, 6-3 over Didrik Berg.

Blocker needed three sets to defeat Mark Mestan 6-3, 2-6, 7-5. Simon won 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

The only loss of the match came in a heated battle between junior Waylon Chin and Cesare Gallo. Chin fell to the Stetson player 6-4, 7-6. Chin was penalized after the game for refusing to shake hands with his opponent.

“Some of our guys didn’t handle themselves very well,” Rincon said. “It’s something we can’t afford as the competition gets better.”

On Sunday, Miami hosted the University of Central Florida at the Ashe/Buchholz Tennis Center at Moore Park in to promote tennis to socially and economically challenged youth with the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department and the Greater Miami Tennis and Education Foundation.

The No. 31 Hurricanes were able to sneak past the Knights 4-3 with Taboada clinching the winning point with a 6-7 (7-4), 6-2, 6-3 win.

The Hurricanes won the doubles point with Nieto and Crowley’s fourth win of the season, 9-7, and Blocker and Simon’s eighth win of the season cruising 8-4.

After getting a 2-0 lead with a singles win by Blocker 6-1, 6-2 the Knights won two games against Chin and Simon to tie the match 2-2.

Sundberg gave the lead to the Hurricanes with a 7-5, 7-5 win. Crowley fell to Claudio Romano after Taboada had already clinched the fourth decisive point.

“I think we improved in a lot of areas but still we need to overall be mentally tougher,” Rendon said.

The Hurricanes host the University of South Florida on Feb. 28 at noon at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

Debora Rubi may be contacted at