RICHMOND, Va. – For several weeks, the Virginia Commonwealth University men's tennis team has listened to Head Coach Paul Kostin talk about the importance of defending the home court.
On Saturday afternoon, the guys showed that the message had been received as the Rams reeled off an impressive 5-2 victory over ACC foe, N.C. State, at the Thalhimer Tennis Center.
"I'm proud of these guys," Kostin said. "Earlier this year, we lost a home match to Cornell and I got on them about having some pride in playing well at home. They showed that today against a quality ACC opponent."
The Rams got thing started on the right track by sweeping the doubles point led by the reigning CAA Doubles Team of the Week of Tim Johannsen and Antoine Baroz, who breezed their way to an 8-4 win in the second slot.
Sophomore Jaime Vazquez Catoria extended VCU's lead with a quick 6-4, 6-4 decision at the third singles position, while Johannsen got the Rams within one point of clinching with a hard-fought 7-6 (6), 7-6 (1) over 104th-ranked Jaime Pulgar at the top singles spot.
N.C. State would pick up one victory to offset some of the Black & Gold's momentum, but junior Filip Svensson wouldn't let this one get away and battled to a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (5) win in the fifth singles position.
Sophomore Max Wennakoski was the other Ram to pick up a singles win and helped VCU claim the quality 5-2 victory.
The Rams are back in action on Wednesday afternoon as they take on conference foe, Georgia State, in a 3 p.m. match at Thalhimer Tennis Center.
No. 75 VCU (10-3) d. No. 55 NC State (7-4), 5-2
1. Jaime Vazquez Catoria / Camill Salomon (VCU) d. Dominic Hodgson/Julian Sullivan (NCSU), 9-7
2. Tim Johannsen/ Antonie Baroz (VCU) d. Jaime Pulgar / Dave Thomson (NCSU), 8-4
3. Max Wennakoski/ Filip Svensson (VCU) d. Rafael Paez/Ivan Sanchez Gomez (NCSU), 8-6
1. No. 113 Tim Johannsen (VCU) d. No. 104 Jaime Pulgar (NCSU), 7-6(6), 7-6(1)
2. Max Wennakoski (VCU) d. Dominic Hodgson (NCSU), 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 6-4
3. Jaime Vazquez Catoria (VCU) d. Dave Thomson (NCSU), 6-4, 6-2
4. Rafael Paez(NCSU) d. Antonie Baroz (VCU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
5. Filip Svensson (VCU) d. Julian Sullivan (NCSU), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5)
6. Ivan Sanchez Gomez (NCSU) d. Alejandro Argente (VCU), 6-1, 6-2