M. Tennis Secures 5-2 Triumph

by Kevin Ivany

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The University of Miami men’s tennis team got back to its winning ways Saturday afternoon at the FSU Indoor Tennis Court.

After falling into an 0-2 hole, the Hurricanes (1-1) won the final five singles matches to take down Auburn (3-4) in the neutral site affair, 5-2.

“That was a good win against Auburn,” Miami head coach Aljosa Piric said. “Auburn came out excited to play us. They had a lot of energy in doubles, playing well in all three spots. We just couldn’t quite match them energy wise and they came out with the doubles point. Credit to them, they really played a good doubles point.”

Fresh off a win against Florida State Friday night, the Tigers carried momentum into Saturday and quickly claimed the doubles point.

In the first match to complete, Tad Maclean and Finn Murgett defeated No. 22 Franco Aubone and Benjamin Hannestad, 6-2, before Jan Galka and Tyler Stice bested Bojan Jankulovski and Patrick Sebastian, 6-2.

In the remaining doubles match, Adria Soriano Barrera and Stefan Milicevic were looking to mount a comeback, trailing 4-5 against Maxwell Giddens and Tom Wright, prior to Auburn claiming the point.

In singles, the Tigers quickly doubled their lead after Stice topped Hannestad, 6-2, 6-1.

Trailing 2-0 in the overall team match, the Hurricanes turned toward a pair of seniors to help turn the tides of the contest.

Competing on court 4, Jankulovksi cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win over Maclean, earning Miami its first of five consecutive points.

Fresh off of a top-20 victory and claiming ACC Player of the Week honors, No. 34 Soriano Barrera improved to 2-0 on the young season in singles, taking down Tim Dollman, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes dropped opening sets on courts 3 and 5, prior to securing the team victory.

Beginning at No. 5 singles, Aubone rebounded and won 12 of the final 15 games against Giddens, as the junior pulled Miami within a point of clinching, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Earning his first singles victory as a Cane, No. 64 Milicevic overcame a 2-6 opening set setback, defeating Galka, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.

With the match clinched, Oren Vasser rounded out the 5-2 team victory with a hard-fought win, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, against Spencer Gray.

“In singles, Auburn did the same thing as they did in doubles and started to believe that they could beat us and won three first sets,” Piric said. “…As the match progressed, we wore them down. I am really proud of the comebacks we had. Franco and Stef came back after losing first sets and really ran with things in their third sets. I was also really proud of Oren. After losing a second set, he bounced right back, even after being down a break in the third, and really closed it out strong.

“Adri and Boki were just catalysts for us and gave us a couple quick points to keep us in the match. They helped us to keep working and believing,” Piric continued. “Overall, it was a good team performance. It wasn’t pretty, but we ended up getting a W and now have to recover and get ready to play a good Tulane team tomorrow.”

The Hurricanes will return to the FSU courts on Sunday at noon to face off against the Green Wave.