Feb. 7, 2010
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The 19th-ranked men's tennis team picked up a 6-1 win against Tulane on Sunday at the University of Alabama Tennis Stadium, once again having to adjust to less than ideal temperatures. The Crimson Tide moves to 3-1 on the season with the victory, while the Green Wave drops to 2-2.
"This was a good win for us," head coach Billy Pate said. "Tulane is a team on the rise with this being their first year back since Hurricane Katrina. We were excited to play them and they put up a good fight. They are a young team, so I felt we had an advantage with our experience. It was a bit of a trap weekend for us, coming off such an emotional weekend, but also trying not to look ahead to next weekend. We really had to keep our focus, which we did. It was an overall great team effort."
Alabama wasted little time taking control of all three courts in doubles. The Tide was able to jump ahead an early break in all three matches, with two of them coasting to easy wins. The 34th-ranked duo of senior Houssam Yassine and junior Trey Walston were able to break serve at 2-1, but were quickly broken right back by Tulane's freshmen tandem of Trevor Getz and Etham Frenkel at the No. 3 spot.
However, Yassine and Walston would make it three breaks in a row to take a 4-2 lead, only dropping one more game en route to an 8-3 victory. Senior Saketh Myneni and freshman Jarryd Botha were never broken in their match on court one. They were able to break the Green Wave's sophomore Shaye Wali and freshman Joe Young three times, winning the match 8-2. Court two was a battle for Alabama, with sophomores Michael Davis and Michael Thompson claiming an early break but giving it back to freshmen Adam Bernstein and Rodrigo Rappaccioli to even the set at 5-5. However, Davis and Thompson broke right back and never lost another game to win 8-5.
The Tide came out on a mission in singles, breaking serve in the first three games on all but one court. Alabama was able to quickly claim five of the six opening sets by a score of 6-2 or better. No. 62 Myneni was the first to finish, only dropping two games, knocking off Young 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 1 position. Fellow senior Houssam Yassine finished moments later on court five, defeating freshman Coby-Kramer Golinkoff 6-2, 6-0. The victory was clinched thanks to Botha's win at the No. 3 position, as he cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Bernstein. No. 123 Thompson finished off the easy matches for the Tide, picking up a 6-2, 6-2 win over Wali on court two.
The final two matches of the day would be decided in a super tiebreak, with each team taking one. On court six, sophomore Creighton Blanchard fell behind 4-1 in the first and could not recover, dropping the set 6-3 to Getz. However, Blanchard bounced back quickly, racing out to a 3-1 lead in the second. Getz was able to get the set back on serve at 3-2, but momentum swung back toward Blanchard once again, as he won the second set 6-3. The super tiebreak continued the theme of momentum shifts. Getz stretched his early 4-3 lead to 7-3, only to see Blanchard win five points in a row for an 8-7 lead. Getz evened the score at 8-8, but Blanchard won the final two points to claim the super tiebreak 10-8.
Tulane took the final match of the day on court four, although it looked for much of the day like the Tide would claim it easily. Davis won the opening set 6-2, and held a break advantage in the second throughout, serving for the match at 5-4. Rappaccioli broke Davis, but was immediately broken back. Davis served for the match once more, but could not capitalize again and the Green Wave freshman was given new life. In the tiebreak, Rappaccioli took full advantage of his new life and won the tiebreak seven points to three. In the supertiebreak, Davis was clearly deflated from all the missed opportunities. The final nail in the coffin for Davis was his double fault at 2-2 in the super tiebreak, and Rappaccioli ran away with it 10 points to three.
Next up, Alabama travels to Charlottesville, Va., to take part in the 2010 ITA National Indoor Championships Feb. 12-15 at the Boar's Head Sports Club. The Tide is matched up with the 2nd-ranked team and host-institution Virginia in the opening round, facing off with the Cavaliers on Feb. 12 at 5:00 p.m. (CST).
1. Myneni/Botha (UA) def. Wali/Young (TUL) 8-2
2. Davis/Thompson (UA) def. Bernstein/Rappaccioli (TUL) 8-5
3. No. 34 Yassine/Walston (UA) def. Getz/Frenkel (TUL) 8-3
Order of Finish: 3,1,2
1. No. 62 Saketh Myneni (UA) def. Joe Young (TUL) 6-1, 6-1
2. No. 123 Michael Thompson (UA) def. Shaye Wali (TUL) 6-2, 6-2
3. Jarryd Botha (UA) def. Adam Bernstein (TUL) 6-2, 6-1
4. Rodrigo Rappaccioli (TUL) def. Michael Davis (UA) 2-6, 7-6(3), 1-0(3)
5. Houssam Yassine (UA) def. Coby Kramer-Golinkoff (TUL) 6-2, 6-0
6. Creighton Blanchard (UA) def. Etham Getz (TUL) 3-6, 6-3, 1-0(8)
Order of Finish: 1,5,3*,2,6,4