The Stetson men's tennis team (4-0) continued its winning ways in non-conference play, defeating Florida Atlantic (2-6) by a score of 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center.
The Owls took the first two doubles matches to secure the point and gain an early lead. Senior Didrik Berg and junior Hans Adrian Riseng lost to Will Neuner and Jose Fantova by a score of 8-4. FAU clinched the point when Andrei Morin-Kougoucheff and Robert Dubuque defeated freshmen Cahit Kapukiran and Laurynas Antropikas by a score of 8-6.
Freshman Egor Panyushkin and Sophomore Chester Espie did not finish their match against Sean Bacha and Richard Meade. The two squads were tied 7-7 before moving on to singles play due to FAU already having won the doubles point.
"The team once again recovered well from being down one after the doubles," Director of Tennis Pierre Pilote said after the match. "We played subpar at mid-point of the doubles, and FAU took advantage of that, but we nearly came back at No. 2 and 3 [doubles positions] from 7-4 deficits."
In singles, the Hatters took five out of the six matches on the day. Panyushkin finished first, defeating Meade 6-2, 6-2 to even the match at 1-1. Berg then lost to Fantova by a score of 6-0, 6-2 to give FAU the lead once again, at 2-1. At number two singles Antropikas defeated Neuner 6-4, 6-4 to tie the match at 2-2.
Freshman Simon Julin gave the Hatters a 3-2 lead with his 6-2, 6-2 victory against Matthew Samberg. At number six singles, Espie clinched the victory for Stetson by defeating Bacha 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Kapukiran finished the day for Stetson by defeating Morin-Kougoucheff 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3.
Stetson is now off until the team heads to California for a pair of matches. The first will be on March 6 against UC Riverside. That match is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. eastern.
"Now it's preparation time for our California Trip," Stetson assistant coach Christophe Noblet said. "Being able to go there with a 4-0 record was our objective."
Match Notes: Last 4-0 start was in 2011 (started 7-0) ... The four Hatter freshmen are undefeated in singles (15-0) ... Stetson was defeated 5-2 by FAU in their last meeting on February 28, 2009 ... Stetson fell from the ITA national rankings this past week after being ranked #72.