By Dalton Ray–
The second-ranked Virginia Cavaliers ended men’s tennis’ four-game win streak last week.
The final score of 7-0 doesn’t indicate how close the match was. After the doubles point and two singles matches Virginia led 3-0. In the remainig four courts, Louisville was well alive and the final three went to three sets. After the game, coach Rex Ecarma mentioned how his team fought.
“I just wanted to be competitive. That’s a national championship team,” Ecarma said. “That game could of easily been 4-3, we had two match points and close to winning doubles. They’re just such a great team. There was four points out there to be had but it just wasn’t for us tonight.”
The Cavaliers showed why they are so highly regarded. All three of the doubles teams are ranked in the top 30 in the country. The top two are sixth and seventh, respectively. In singles, they have four players in the top 80 nationally.
U of L fought hard against one of the nation’s top tennis programs but the young team just couldn’t pull it off. Seniors Alex Gornet and Jeff Brown had their hands full with fourteenth-ranked Ryan Shane and third-ranked Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, both losing in two sets.
The final three courts gave Louisville hope to chalk up a point. Each would go to three sets and made Virginia fight for every point. The three final Cardinals playing were freshmen.
“No one in the country will think we had a chance but we all know we had a chance,” Ecarma said. “Just watching this freshmen class you can tell they are special. All of them tonight were against upperclassman and went the distance. We will keep on growing.”
Everyone on the team has played to this point in the year in either singles or doubles. Ecarma said he thinks knowing there isn’t a set rotation gives them an edge.
“Every day in practice we have guys going at it on the court,” he said. “They’re fighting for playing time and the guys know anyone can play the next game. I have a bunch of fighters and we’re competing with each other.”
File photo / The Louisville Cardinal