BATON ROUGE—The LSU men’s tennis team defeated Vanderbilt, 5-2, on Friday, February 19 at the LSU Tennis Complex.
The Tigers improve to 8-1 on the season and 1-0 in SEC play.
Both the Tigers and Commodores came out ready to battle in doubles, foreshadowing for what to expect for the night. All three doubles matches were tied at either 2-2 or 3-3, but Nick Watson and Boris Kozlov remained undefeated after winning three out of the next four sets, clinching the match at 6-4. Both matches on courts one and two had the Tigers leading 6-5, but No. 60 Ronald Hohmann and Rafael Wagner came out on top, 7-5, and clinched the doubles point.
Singles started out rough for the Tigers, dropping the first set on five out of the six courts. Freshman Tom Pisane was the only one to snag a first set victory, 6-4. He put the Tigers up 2-0 after closing out the second set, 6-4, 6-2. LSU quickly turned around and won the second set on all six courts. Boris Kozlov flipped the script after being defeated 6-0 in the first set to tie the match up, 0-6, 6-1. He finished off Vanderbilt’s Macsen Sisam in the third set, 0-6, 6-1, 6-3. With the Tigers up 3-0, they only needed one more match to secure the victory, but it was a fight to get it. Tomas Descarrega was blanked in his first set, 6-0, but turned it around just like Boris Kozlov, winning the second set, 6-3. Descarrega couldn’t close it out in the third, falling to Joubert Klopper, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3. The Tigers still held the 3-1 lead, but courts one, two, and five were all three-set fights. Freshman Joao Graca made everyone breathe a little easier after he secured the victory, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3. The rest of the match was played out and Rafael Wagner won a third-set tiebreak, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). No. 99 Ronald Hohmann had a back-and-forth match with No. 117 George Harwell but fell in the third set, 7-6(3), 3-6, 7-6(4).
The Tigers go on the road to face No. 16 Kentucky on Sunday, February 21 at 12:00 p.m., in Lexington, KY.
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On rebounding from his first-set loss…
“We knew going into it that Vanderbilt is a very tough team. They came out in the start of singles playing very well. At that moment, I wasn’t on top of my game. Once that first set was over, that’s only halfway through the match. There was still a lot to unfold. I put my head down, showed some good energy, and compete for every point. Thankfully I was able to come away with a victory today.”
Co-Head Coach Chris Brandi
On the team’s performance to start SEC play…
“Any SEC win is awesome. We’re thrilled, but obviously we didn’t play our best. I think in doubles, we might’ve played some of our best. I thought Vanderbilt played really tough in doubles, it could’ve gone either way. Especially in doubles on court two, where we maybe haven’t been our best in Joey [Thomas] and Joao [Graca]. I think they had match point at the end too. Singles, we were down five first sets, fast. Two of them were 6-0, it looked bad. Credit to some of those guys like Boris Kozlov and Rafael Wagner. Wagner was down at multiple times and it looked bad. Boris Kozlov probably played the worst set he’s played in a long time and fought back. It was good to see Tom Pisane get off the court first.”
LSU 5, Vanderbilt 2
1. #117 George Harwell (VU) def. #99 Ronald Hohmann (LSU) 7-6 (6-3), 3-6, 7-6 (7-4)
2. Rafael Wagner (LSU) def. Marcus Ferreira (VU) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
3. Tom Pisane (LSU) def. Max Freeman (VU) 6-4, 6-2
4. Boris Kozlov (LSU) def. Macsen Sisam (VU) 0-6, 6-1, 6-3
5. Joao Graca (LSU) def. Jeremie Casabon (VU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-3
6. Joubert Klopper (VU) def. Tomas Descarrega (LSU) 6-0, 3-6, 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (3,4,6,5,2,1)
Official: Richie Weaver