After dominating St. John’s in a 4-0 sweep on Friday, the Canes struggled against North Florida on Sunday afternoon, losing 4-2. It was their first defeat of the Spring 2017 season.
The afternoon began with three competitive doubles matches, all of which went down to the wire. Miami’s pairing of juniors Nile Clark and Piotr Lomacki kicked things off by winning its lone set, 7-5, in a grind against North Florida’s Jefta Kecic and Yannick Zuern.
Meanwhile, UM’s duo of sophomore Dane Dunlap and junior Christian Langmo fought to the end but came up short against UNF’s Jonathan Deautriell and Sahil Deshmukh, losing 7-6 in a set that called for a tiebreaker. Likewise, Canes seniors Max Andrews and Jesse Flores also fell into a tiebreaker, unable to get momentum going throughout their match against the No. 12-ranked tandem of Jack Findel-Hawkins and Lasse Muscheites. All three of the doubles matches were hard-fought, with the pairs often alternating wins until one finally prevailed.
“Overall, I was happy with our doubles effort,” Canes Head Coach Aljosa Piric said. “It came down to a couple tiebreakers; we lost both of those. Credit to North Florida for taking the first point.”
It was more of the same in singles play. Only Polish junior Piotr Lomacki, ranked No. 86 in the world in singles competition, was able to dominate his match. He defeated Findel-Hawkins, ranked No. 51, in two short sets (6-1, 6-1). The other singles matches were highly contested, but the close losses buried the Canes.
“When you are playing very close matches, it comes down to a few points – critical points,” Piric said. “We just have to get better at those, better at embracing pressure and stepping up in pressure moments.”
That was the story of the match for Miami – the inability to close out tight sets.
UM will have some time to prepare for Troy University, who it will face at noon on Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.