Feb. 23, 2014
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -
The men's tennis team came back after losing the doubles point to beat Auburn, 4-1, on Sunday in the consolation finals of the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic. With the victory, the Crimson Tide improves to 6-5 on the season, while the loss drops the Tigers to 10-4 overall.
"What a great match," said Alabama head coach George Husack. "There was a great crowd, great energy and great resolve. Our plan was to be energetic and gritty from the get go. We were not sharp in doubles, but it didn't deflate us."
Auburn's doubles point came with wins on courts one and two as senior Daniel Cochrane and freshman Oliver Plaskett beat senior Daniil Proskura and freshman Nikko Madregallejo, 6-2, and 60th-ranked junior Lukas Ollert and senior Dennis Lengsfeld topped sophomore Becker O'Shaughnessey and freshman Sean Donohue, 6-3, respectively.
The momentum turned Alabama's way in singles quickly as the top of the lineup got two wins with 12th-ranked Proskura winning 6-0, 6-4 over Ollert and 72nd-ranked O'Shaughnessey defeating Lengsfeld, 6-4, 6-2. Madregallejo had, possibly, his best match to date, grinding out a 6-5, 6-5 win over freshman Petar Tomic on court four to put the Tide within one point away from the Alabama victory. From there, Donohue would clinch the match, coming from behind to defeat No. 85 freshman Dante Saleh, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 on court five. The remaining matches would go unfinished once the fourth point was secured.
"There were `Let's Go Bama' cheers throughout the facility as the women were finishing a thriller of their own when we began singles," added Husack. "I think their win was a huge boost for us and kept the Alabama momentum rolling. The guys gave it their all, and to win in the end made this day extra special."
Alabama returns to the court on Friday, Feb. 28, when it starts Southeastern Conference play at Mississippi State. The match is slated to begin at 2 p.m. CT.
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