Miami men’s tennis (12-6, 1-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) lost another tightly contested match, extending their losing streak to four matches. This latest defeat came at the hands of No. 21 Notre Dame (14-6, 4-2 ACC). The two teams battled for 3.5 hours before the Irish edged the Canes, 4-3, to claim the victory.
For the second consecutive match, the UM doubles teams won with ease. The Hurricanes were leading on all three courts from start to finish with Courts 1 and 2 producing the wins for Miami. Fourth-year juniors Franco Aubone and Juan Martin Jalif had an impressive victory over No. 44 Matthew Che and Axel Nefve, 6-3. On the second court, fifth-year senior Benjamin Hannestad and freshman Martin Katz won with the same score, 6-3.
Singles play began and Aubone put on a masterful performance on Court 6. He demolished his opponent, 6-2, 6-0, to give UM a 2-0 lead in the match. Notre Dame responded on Court 1, as No. 99 Dan Martin suffered a rare loss to No. 44 Nefve, 6-7, 6-2.
The Canes would then drop two more points as Katz fell, 5-7, 2-6, and Hannestad lost, 2-6, 6-7. The tables had now turned, and Notre Dame was one point from victory, but two Hurricanes were still battling hard.
On Court 2, fifth-year senior Bojan Jankulovski channeled his experience to orchestrate a massive straight-set victory over graduate Aditya Vashistha, 7-5, 6-4. This left the match down to Court 4, where both opponents had split the first two sets. Junior Connor Fu won the first set, 3-6, but veteran Juan Martin Jalif responded with a 6-4 second set to level the match.
In the third set, Martin broke first to make the score 3-2, but Fu responded, going up 4-3. The match remained deadlocked at 5-5 when the Irish finally hit gold, winning the final set, 7-5.
Yet another competitive but ultimately disappointing match leaves Miami with a lot to play for against archrival FSU next Wednesday. For Jalif, this will be against his former team, whom he transferred from.
UM has a ten-day break to recuperate and refocus for March 30, when it will play at 3 p.m. at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.