Tide Tennis Opens with Sweep


Tide Tennis Opens with Sweep

Sunday, January 29, 2006

TUSCALOOSA – Alabama’s men’s tennis team opened up the 2006 dual match season Sunday with a sweep of Furman and Troy at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility and extended its streak of consecutive season-opening wins to six. The Crimson Tide downed Furman 6-1 in the opener and beat Troy 6-1 in the nightcap.

“I think we showed a lot of resiliency for a young team,” Alabama head coach Billy Pate said. “They met the challenge. It isn’t easy to play a double-header.”

Joseph Jung, Mathieu Thibaudeau, Billy Mertz and Andrew Felsenthal all recorded a pair of singles victories on the day to help lead Alabama to victory. This is the second consecutive season that Alabama has opened up with a sweep on the first day of competition.

In the opener against Furman, Sammy Struyf and Thibaudeau got things rolling for the Tide with an 8-5 win at No. 1 doubles. Felsenthal and Buikema then came up big at No. 2 doubles. With the all-important doubles-point left hanging in the balance and Felsenthal and Buikema trailing 6-5, the duo broke serve to take a 7-6 lead. Buikema then used three aces to serve-out for the win and give the Tide an early 1-0 lead.

In singles Jung picked up his 10th consecutive dual-match win against Furman’s Ben Pauluhn. He would extend the streak later in the day to 11 straight wins. Jung jumped out early by winning the first set 6-3, but fell behind in the second set 5-2. He then went on a tear. He held serve to pull to 5-3 and then broke Pauluhn’s serve with a powerful forehand return down the line to close the deficit to 5-4. Jung then held his serve again to even the set at 5-5 and eventually clinched victory in a tiebreaker. Thibaudeau would seal the team victory moments later at No. 3 singles with a 7-6, 6-3 win over Greg Maarschalk.

In the nightcap against Troy, Alabama found itself trailing after the doubles point and knew it needed to come out and play with some inspiration to earn the four points in singles it would need to complete the comeback. Alabama had no problem getting those four points as it won all six singles matches.

Billy Mertz started the streak with a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 4 and Javier Bes followed him up with a win at No. 3. Thibaudeau then earned his second singles win of the day at the No. 2 position in three sets and Struyf clinched the win with a straight set victory at No. 5.

“We were the favorites in both matches,” Pate said. “but to go down a point against Troy, it was big for us to fight back the way we did. I don’t think we really found the balance early between intensity and poise, but we came back and it was a good effort from everyone”.

Alabama has two weeks off now before its next match. The Tide will host Oklahoma on February 10 at 5 p.m. The match will be played indoors at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility. Michigan will come to town on February 12 to play Alabama at noon.

Tennis Match Results
Furman vs Alabama
Jan 29, 2006 at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
#57 Alabama 6, Furman 1

Singles competition:
1. #100 Joseph Jung (UA) def. Ben Pauluhn (FUR) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
2. Andy Juc (FUR) def. #87 Javier Bes (UA) 6-4, 6-3
3. Mathieu Thibaudeau (UA) def. Greg Maarchalk (FUR) 7-6, 6-3
4. Billy Mertz (UA) def. Bo Ladyman (FUR) 6-4, 6-3
5. Andrew Felsenthal (UA) def. Daniel Knause (FUR) 6-3, 6-0
6. Dan Buikema (UA) def. Alex Doan (FUR) 7-5, 6-3
Doubles competition:
1. Sammy Struyf/Mathieu Thibaudeau (UA) def. Ben Pauluhn/Greg Maarchalk (FUR) 8-5
2. Andrew Felsenthal/Dan Buikema (UA) def. Brian Crook/Bo Ladyman (FUR) 8-6
3. Scott Kahler/Will Kieffer (FUR) def. Javier Bes/Jordie Kindervater (UA) 8-3


Match Notes:
Furman 0-1
Alabama 1-0; National ranking #57
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,2,1,3,5,6)

Tennis Match Results
Troy vs Alabama
Jan 29, 2006 at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Alabama 6, Troy 1

Singles competition:
1. #100 Joseph Jung (UA) def. Irving Morales (TROY) 6-4, 7-6 (11-9), 1-0
2. Mathieu Thibaudeau (UA) def. Milos Kustudija (TROY) 6-4, 1-6, 6-1
3. #87 Javier Bes (UA) def. Marko Despot (TROY) 6-3, 7-5
4. Billy Mertz (UA) def. Pasqual Duttlinger (TROY) 6-2, 6-0
5. Sammy Struyf (UA) def. Marko Kustudija (TROY) 6-2, 6-2
6. Andrew Felsenthal (UA) def. Diego Martinez (TROY) 6-2, 6-0

Doubles competition:
1. Irving Morales/Marko Despot (TROY) def. Mathieu Thibaudeau/Sammy Struyf (UA) 8-6
2. Pasqual Duttlinger/Milos Kustudija (TROY) def. Dan Buikema/Andrew Felsenthal (UA) 8-3
3. Javier Bes/Billy Mertz (UA) def. Diego Martinez/Marko Kustudija (TROY) 8-3

Match Notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (4,3,2,5,1,6)