HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's tennis team put up a valiant effort against Louisiana, but eventually fell 5-2 to the visitors on Saturday afternoon at the USM Tennis Courts.
"On senior day, the three seniors did an incredible job against a really good team," Coach Zubin Engineer said. "We won at No 2 doubles and lost by one break at No. 1 doubles. Conference USA Player of the Week Paulo Alvarado pulled off another impressive win at No. 1 singles. Chao Yu Huang won the second point for the team. The all-round team effort was very good."
The Golden Eagles (11-10) fell behind early when Louisiana (17-4) used wins at Nos. 1 and 3 to take the doubles point. Senior Alex Doleac and freshman Grigory Trotsenko fell 8-3 to Carl Alberton and Hunter Johnson at No. 3 while seniors Paulo Alvarado and Juan Escobar battled against No. 76 ranked Jake Wynan and Rick de Groot, but fell 8-6. Sophomore Vasco Valverde and freshman Chao-Yu Huang battled Damian Farinola and Edgar Lopez at the two-spot in taking an 8-7 (4) win.
Huang tied the match at 1-1 with his 6-2, 6-3 over Farinola at the No. 3 spot. Louisiana regained the lead at No. 6 where Carl Alberton defeated Trotsenko 6-4, 6-2. The Ragin' Cajuns took a 3-1 lead when Jake Wynan beat Doleac 6-2, 7-6 (5) at the two-spot. Valverde rebounded from a 6-2 loss in the first set to defeat de Groot in the second, but fell 6-2 in the third as the Ragin' Cajuns claimed the decisive point on court three.
At the five-spot, Escobar picked up a 7-6 (4) win the first set, but Yates Johnson prevailed 6-2 in the second and 6-1 in the third to increase Louisiana's lead to 5-1. Alvarado and Lopez split sets on court one with Lopes winning the first 7-6 (1) and Alvarado taking the second by the same score 7-6 (5). Alvarado prevailed 8-6 in the third for the Golden Eagles' second point of the match.
Southern Miss will travel to Tulsa, Okla., for the Conference USA Championship on April 17-20.
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