Feb. 26, 2009
TAMPA, Fla. - The No. 28 Auburn men's tennis team took their fourth match in-a-row as they traveled to take down No. 37 South Florida, 4-1.
Starting the Tigers on the right track, senior Milan Krnjetin and sophomore Michel Monteiro teamed up to take the first doubles victory of the day, 9-8 (7-4), over Mahmoud Hamed and Mark Oljaca.
Following the first win, Auburn's top duo of Alexey Tsyrenov and Tim Puetz clinched the doubles point as they took care of the No. 23 ranked pair of Lucas Jovita and Thomas Estrada, 8-4. Tsyrenov and Puetz, currently the No. 15 doubles team in the nation, improve to 5-0 this season in doubles play.
"We were resilient today in doubles," head coach Eric Shore stated. "When we got down, we picked ourselves up, fought back and earned a tough doubles point."
On court two, Lukas Marsoun and Alex Stamchev did not finish their match against Wael Kilani and Romain Deridder as the doubles point had already been awarded to the Tigers.
Taking the lead into singles play, Auburn quickly built a lead as Alex Petropoulos earned a strong 6-2, 6-2 win over Thomas Estrada.
"Alex really stepped up for us today," said Shore. "He did what we think he is capable of doing for us and he got a good early win down on court six."
Following the immediate win, Puetz took another singles win as he claimed a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Wael Kilani. Puetz, currently No. 56 in the ITA rankings, now holds to a perfect 6-0 record in singles competition.
With Auburn holding a 3-0 margin, the Bulls fought back as Mahmoud Hamed defeated Marsoun, 6-2, 6-4. However, freshman Stamchev stepped up to clinch the match for the Tigers as he rallied to beat Jamal Adderley, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
"Stamchev has been struggling recently, but he showed us what he is capable of achieving," Shore mentioned. "Today he came in here and gave us the win."
After the clinching point had been awarded to Auburn, the singles match-ups involving Tsyrenov and Krnjetin were suspended.
With the first true road match settled, the Tigers improve to a 5-1 record.
"It was a good win for us today," Shore said. "We played pretty solid. It's good to get a true road win, but we still have to prepare for our Sunday match."
The match was the first actual road dual match for the Tigers as their competition at the ITA National Indoor Qualifier was played at a neutral site.
Auburn's next match will come this Sunday as the Tigers host No. 22 North Carolina. Action is set to being at 2 p.m. at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.