DURHAM, N.C. – If you know Head Coach Paul Kostin, you know there is no such thing as moral victories for the VCU legend.
If there was, this weekend at the ITA Kickoff may fall into that category as the VCU men's tennis team had two strong showings with a tough loss to 10th-ranked Duke (6-0), but battled back for an exciting 4-2 win over a highly-touted Louisville squad on Sunday.
Saturday saw the Rams battle the Blue Devils tooth and nail, including a big time effort from sophomore Alexis Heugas. Heugas battled seventh-ranked Henrique Cunha at the top singles position, but fell 7-5, 6-1. Ultimately, Duke was just too much and advanced in the ITA Kickoff weekend with a 6-0 victory.
VCU showed its resiliency on Sunday against a talented Louisville squad. The Rams earned the doubles point to grab early momentum. Sophomore Antoine Baroz kept the Black & Gold rolling with a 6-3, 6-2 at fourth singles position. Junior Max Wennakoski followed with a 6-2, 6-4 win at #2 singles to bring the Rams within one point of taking home a victory.
The Cardinals would answer with two singles victories of their own before junior Jaime Vazquez Catoira sealed VCU's win with a hard-fought, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 6-2 victory at #6 singles.
VCU, now 6-1 on the year, returns to action next weekend with a Friday afternoon match at Wake Forest.
#10 Duke 6, VCU 0
1) Henrique Cunha/Fred Saba (DU) vs. Heugas/Baroz (VCU), 4-5, unfinished
2) David Holland/Chris Mengel (DU) def. Svensson/Wennakoski (VCU), 8-2
3) Torsten Wietoska/Raphel Hemmeler (DU) def. Vazquez Catoira/Salomon (VCU), 8-3
1) #7 Henrique Cunha (DU) def. Heugas (VCU), 7-5, 6-1
2) #17 Chris Mengel (DU) def. Wennakoski (VCU), 6-3, 6-3
3) Torsten Wietoska (DU) def. Svensson (VCU) 6-4, 6-2
4) #110 Fred Saba (DU) def. Baroz (VCU), 6-1, 6-3
5) #120 Raphel Hemmeler (DU) def. Argente (VCU), 6-1, 6-4
6) Jason Tahir (DU) vs. Vazquez Catoira (VCU), 1-6, 7-6 (7-2), unfinished
VCU 4, Louisville 2
1) Heugas/Baroz (VCU) def. #24 Carter/Stiefelmeyer (UL), 9-8 (7-3)
2) Svensson/Wennakoski (VCU) vs. Gupta/Damrongsri (UL), no result
3) Vazquez Catoira/Argente (VCU) def. Hall/Simich (UL), 8-2
1) #113 Andrew Carter (UL) def. Heugas (VCU), 7-5, 7-6 (7-4)
2) Wennakoski (VCU) def. Michael Lippens (UL), 6-2, 6-4
3) Stiefelmeyer (UL) def. Svensson (VCU), 6-1, 6-0
4) Baroz (VCU) def. Wagner (UL), 6-3, 6-2
5) Simich (UL) vs. Argente (VCU),6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 2-4, unfinished
6) Vazquez Catoira (VCU) def. Elizondo (UL), 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 6-2