The #72 Stetson men's tennis team (3-0) used another strong performance in singles play to defeat Florida A&M (2-7) by a score of 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center.
"We played a great match today," Director of Tennis Pierre Pilote said after the match. "[It was] particularly well played considering we didn't compete in the last 14 days."
Florida A&M opened the match by taking the doubles point from Stetson. Freshman Egor Panyushkin and sophomore Chester Espie were defeated by Takura Happy and Temuera Asafu-Adjaye 8-5. Freshmen Capit Kapukiran and Laurynas Antropikas lost a tight match, falling to Zack Evenden and Admire Mushoga by a score of 8-7 (6), securing the doubles point for the Rattlers.
FAMU has proven to be difficult in doubles play this season, as its number one pair defeated USF's #47 ranked doubles team in the country on Saturday. "The doubles point level was excellent," Assistant Coach Christophe Noblet said. "We started a little slow but we still had chances to win it. Florida A&M has formidable doubles pairs."
In singles play, Panyushkin won by way of retirement from the five position to tie the match early on at 1-1. Senior Didrik Berg was then defeated by C. Salif Kante by a score of 6-4, 6-0.
The Hatters won the final four singles matches, starting with Antropikas's 6-1, 6-4 victory against Chidi Gabriel. Chester Espie followed that by defeating Asafu-Adjaye by a score of 6-4, 6-2. Simon Julin clinched the match for Stetson with his 7-5, 6-2 victory against Mushonga. Cahit Kapukiran rounded out singles play with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory against Evenden.
"I am very proud of our guys for remaining calm and focused in a very spirited match," Pilote said. "Now that we are back in a normal match schedule, I expect our young team to continue improving with each match."
Stetson returns to action a week from today when the team hosts Florida Atlantic on Feb. 24. The match is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center.
Match notes: Berg and Riseng were winning the tiebreak in doubles 3-2 before the match was stopped ... Panyushkin won the first set 6-4 before his opponent retired ... FAMU lost 4-3 against #55 USF on Saturday.