DELAND, Fla. – The Stetson men’s tennis team fell to UAB 4-3, Tuesday at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center, in a contest that came down to the very final singles match.
After winning two of three doubles matches over the home standing Hatters, UAB added another one to start off singles play and jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Wins from Graham Ball (6-4, 6-2) at court No. 5 and Chester Espie (6-3, 6-4) at No. 6, tied things up at two apiece with three singles matches yet to be completed.
Following a Dragon victory on the No. 1 court, Cahit Kapukiran knotted the score up at 3-3 with a straight set win (6-3, 6-3) over UAB’s Stepan Vancurik at No. 3. That meant the fate of the match rested on the shoulders of the players on the No. 2 court in Stetson’s Laurynas Antropikas and UAB’s Rafael Rondino.
After dropping the first set 6-2, Antropikas battled back in the second set but was edged by Rodino, 7-5, giving the Blazers the hard fought road victory.
“UAB was the better team in doubles today and that ultimately made the difference,” said Stetson Associate Head Coach Christophe Noblet. “I thought we competed well in singles but UAB was stronger in the top three positions as well.”
Stetson, now 6-8 on the year and 1-2 in A-Sun play gets back to taking on conference opponents with a home tilt against Mercer, Friday, Mar. 28 in DeLand. Match time is scheduled for 12 p.m. at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center.