Men Unable to Top Tar Heels
March 1, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - The No. 28 Auburn men's tennis team took a battle to the end, but ended up falling to the No. 22 North Carolina Tar Heels, 4-3.
The Tigers took doubles, but were unable to keep the heat going in singles play.
The men started the afternoon with a quick sweep for the doubles point. First to victory was the Tigers' third team, Milan Krnjetin and Alex Petropoulos, who beat out Brennan Boyajian and Alex Rafiee, 8-4. It was then the No. 15 duo, Alexey Tsyrenov and Tim Puetz, clinching the point, 8-4, over UNC's Clay Donato and Taylor Fogleman, the No. 11 pair in the nation. Tsyrenov and Puetz stay perfect and improve their doubles record to 6-0.
Finishing the sweep, Lukas Marsoun and Alex Stamchev took down the Tar Heels' Andrew Crone and Zach Hunter, 8-7 (7-4). The No. 50 duo of Marsoun and Stamchev are now a flawless 5-0 on the spring season.
"Doubles has been a strong point for us this season," head coach Eric Shore noted. "It's a nice lift, but it only brings one point so we have to go out and continue to compete."
Moving into singles play, Auburn took another quick point as Alex Petropoulos topped Alex Rafiee, 6-1, 6-3.
"Alex is continuing to improve for us which is what we have to do," said Shore. "Everybody has to continue to improve."
With a 2-0 margin, UNC quickly evened the match with wins on courts three and four. Andrew Crone defeated Auburn's Krnjetin, 7-5, 6-4, and was followed by Brennan Boyajian, who beat Marsoun, 6-3, 6-4.
Next to finish was freshman Stamchev, who took a three set win against Luke Mojica, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, to put Auburn ahead once again.
However, the Tigers lead was short-lived. On court two, No. 56 Puetz fell to No. 42 Taylor Fogleman, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3). The loss was Puetz's first of the season as he moves to 6-1.
The clinching match went to UNC as No. 27 Clay Donato prevailed in three sets over No. 41 Tsyrenov, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, giving the Tar Heels the match at 4-3.
The loss drops Auburn to a 5-2 record, while North Carolina improves to 10-2.
"It's a tough one to lose," Shore remarked. "Give plenty of credit to UNC as they fought back. We played hard today, but it just wasn't our day. However, I think we're ready for SEC play. We've played some tough matches and we're ready to go on the road."
The Tigers next competition will come on Friday, as the team travels to Baton Rouge to face conference-rival LSU in the opening weekend on SEC play.
#22 North Carolina 4, #28 Auburn 3
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