Tennis-M vs. Armsrong Atlantic
Men’s Tennis Finishes as National Semifinalist
Modified May 18, 2012 11:17 PM
LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Lynn University’s No. 3 men’s tennis team ended its season with a 5-0 loss to the undefeated and top-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University Pirates in the NCAA National Semifinals on Friday.
“The team showed a lot of heart,” men’s tennis head coach Mike Perez said. “They represented the University in the best way they possibly can and I’m really proud of the group we have and in particular, the seniors, Luca [Pavanelli], Ben [Kendall] and Amaury [Van Haelen]. It’s a tribute to those guys that we finished strong and the top-four in the country.”
The top doubles flight completed play first with Lynn’s No. 3 team of Vlad Cirla and Willi Wolfer falling 8-2 to the nation’s top doubles duo for Armstrong, Mikk Irdoja and Georgi Rumenov.
In the second doubles flight, the Blue & White’s Max Kouyate and Amaury Van Haelen vaulted to a 2-0 advantage before Armstrong’s No. 17 tandem of Sven Lalic and Pedro Scocuglia rallied to make it a 3-2 match in favor of the Fighting Knights.
The Armstrong team then collected the next two points to go up 4-3 over Kouyate and Van Haelen before both teams broke serve to take the match to 5-4 with the Pirates combo on top at number two doubles.
The Pirates 17th-ranked team then rolled off the next four points to close out the match and claim a 2-0 tilt in the overall match.
Lynn’s Italian combo of Luca Pavanelli and Alessio Iannozzi fell behind 6-3 to Eudaldo Bonet and Matus Mydla before the LU team collected the next two points to cut the lead down to one with Armstrong up 6-5. The Pirates pair then posted the next two points to down Pavanelli and Iannozzi 8-5 and grab a commanding 3-0 lead heading into singles.
The Pirates totaled the first two singles matches to end the overall match.
At number six singles, Van Haelen posted a 6-4 loss in set one then fell 6-2 in the second set to Daniel Regan to give Armstrong a 4-0 lead in the overall match.
Moments later, the third singles flight concluded with No. 40 Pavanelli falling to No. 4 Irdoja 6-4, 6-2 to end the overall match.
“It’s tough to stop a juggernaut,” Perez said. “That’s exactly what Armstrong Atlantic is right now. We just got in the way and they kind of rolled over us a little bit today but you got to take the good with the bad.”
The Fighting Knights finished the season 23-4 with half of their losses coming from undefeated Armstrong. Perez finishes the year with 374 career wins over his 23-year career as the men’s tennis coach and a total of 867 victories in both men’s and women’s tennis.
“The whole season has been very positive,” Perez said. “The negatives don’t even come close to the positives this year. We had some up and down moments but we overcame our difficulties and we finished strong. These guys have no reason to not be proud of what they did and lift their heads high from this season’s accomplishments.”