March 31, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Southern Miss men's tennis team defeated East Carolina 4-1 in the Conference USA Shootout Saturday, snapping a two-match losing streak.
The Golden Eagles (9-11) won the doubles point and took three singles matches behind victories from Andrew Goodwin and Paulo Alvarado while Jovan Zeljkovic sealed the 4-1 win.
The doubles point featured a battle for the early lead. Southern Miss struck first at the No. 1 spot where the duo of Inaki Belloso and Juan Escobar defeated ECU's Joran Vliegen and Niels Cleeren 8-4. The Pirates responded at the No. 2 spot which saw Nicolas Soriano and Damien Brenard down the team of Alvarado and Michael Elortegui 9-7. The point came down to court three where Andrew Goodwin and Jovan Zeljkovic edged John Schmitt and Patriek Wolterbeek 8-5.
In singles action, the ECU tied the match quickly with Vliegen 6-1, 6-4 victory over Matt Frost at the No. 1 spot. Goodwin's 6-2, 6-4 win over Mario Martinez at No. 6 pulled Southern Miss ahead 2-1. Alvarado added to the lead for USM by defeating Niels Cleeren 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 2 position.
The deciding point came at the No. 5 slot where Zeljkovic took the first set 6-4 then outlasted Brenard in the second set tie-breaker, 7-6 (4) to clinch the match.
At No. 3, Belloso battled to take the first set 6-4 against Soriano, but fell 6-3 in the second set. The third set was tied at 1-1 when the match ended. At No. 4, Escobar and Schmitt split sets with each winning 6-3 before that match ended.
The Golden Eagles are back in action against UAB on Sunday at 2 p.m.