@CanesMensTennis Falls to Mississippi State
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami men’s tennis team dropped its second match of the season, 4-0, against No. 16 Mississippi State Friday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
“Mississippi State is a good team,” head coach Aljosa Piric said. “They are a tough unit, they play hard, they play for one another and they are good all the way from the top of the lineup, down to the six.”
In doubles play, all three of the Canes duos jumped out to an early 1-0 lead and battled all the way through, but the Bulldogs were too much to handle in the end. At No. 3 junior Christian Langmo and sophomore Dane Dunlap fell, 4-6, to Mate Cutura and Giovanni Oradini.
In a tough battle against No. 44 Niclas Braun and Trevor Foshey, the senior pair of Max Andrews and Jess Flores dropped the match, 4-6.
“In doubles, it was back and forth there for a little bit and they broke us a couple of times. They broke us at No. 1 and they broke us at No. 3, and they got a little bit of momentum there in doubles,” Piric said. “We had opportunities. At No. 3, we were up 4-3, but on a couple of break points, we just could not make the returns. Overall, the doubles point went to them, deservedly so.”
In singles play, the Canes battled on all six courts, but were never able to crack into the Bulldogs growing lead.
“Singles, a little bit up and down throughout the lineup. I have to give a lot of credit to Christian, who executed the way we have asked. He came out with a lot of energy and a positive mindset. And he really went after his serve and forehand. He was really in a great spot there.”
At No. 2, Langmo and Cutura battled back and forth, with neither able to fully break away. Trailing 4-5, the junior fought his way back to force an opening set tiebreaker.
In the tiebreaker, the native of Boca Raton, Fla.,took the set, 7-6 (7-4). The match, however, remained unfinished because the Bulldogs clinched the overall match.
“I also, want to give a lot of credit to Jesse at No. 3. He was really battling there, and really had a chance to extend the match, on his court,” Piric said. “Also, Piotr played the No. 3 guy in the country. On a high-level like that, it comes down to a few points. Credit to Piotr for bouncing back in the second set, and getting a good look in that set. He was a couple points from really turning the match around, and if it goes the distance, who knows. Dane also battled back at No. 5, after losing the first set and was up a break in the second. He ended up losing a tough, tough set.”
At No. 6, Mississippi State’s Simon Baudry took down Canes junior Kevin Bondar, 6-3, 6-0, to extend its lead, 2-0.
In a battle between two top 100 singles players, No. 3 Nunos Borges bested No. 63 Lomacki, to give the native of Poland his first loss of 2017. Lomacki nearly forced a third set, but Borges ultimately took the match, 6-1, 7-5.
After dropping the first set 0-6, Dunlap looked to lead a Canes comeback. The sophomore extended the match by forcing a tiebreaker, but Oradini prevailed, 7-6 (7-2). The tiebreaker sealed the match for Mississippi State (4-0).
“Overall as a team we need to improve, we need to learn from this match,” Piric said. “We absolutely are going to take the positives to our heart and we are going to learn from this match, in order to get better.”
Miami (2-2) will return to the Neil Schiff Center Sunday at 3 p.m., against the Florida Atlantic University, before hosting ACC rival Clemson University on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 12 p.m.
“Florida Atlantic had a good start to its season. They are a team that is obviously in our backyard and they are going to present a challenge,” Piric said. “Our guys played in the same tournaments; they know each other going back to Regionals and junior tournaments. A lot of these guys know each other, so there is not going to be any surprises. It certainly is going to be a tough test for us, but we look forward to it. I am interested to see how we bounce back as a group. It is a good opportunity to show resilience, to show that fight we have. Overall, we are looking forward to the match, and I know we are going to have a great practice tomorrow.
No. 16 Mississippi State 4, Miami 0
1. No. 3 Nuno Borges (MSU) def. No. 63 Piotr Lomacki (UM) 6-1, 7-5
2. Christian Langmo (UM) vs. Mate Cutura (MSU) 7-6 (7-4), 1-3, unfinished
3. Jesse Flores (UM) vs. Strahinja Rakic (MSU) 6-7 (6-8), 2-2, unfinished
4. Max Andrews (UM) vs. Niclas Braun (MSU) 4-6, 3-5, unfinished
5. Giovanni Oradini (MSU) def. Dane Dunlap (UM) 6-0, 7-6 (7-2)
6. Simon Baudry (MSU) def. Kevin Bondar (UM) 6-3, 6-0
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (6,1,5)