By Dalton Ray–
Georgia Tech visited men’s tennis in the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center and walked away with a 5-2 victory. The Cardinals were alive on the final three courts but couldn’t steal the win.
The match started off well for U of L as they won the doubles point. Chris Kougoucheff and George Hedley defeated 65th-ranked pair of Casey and Michael Kay 7-5. Sean Donhue and Courtney Lock beat Nathan Rakitt and Andrew Li 6-4.
Head coach Rex Ecarma loved the way the team started but knew problems were laying ahead.
“Good doubles point. That team is very, very good in doubles. They were coming off a big road win against a national power in Duke,” Ecarma said. “I knew it was going to be an uphill battle because it was our first outdoor match, we haven’t played outdoor since November. They were four points to be had out there.”
The Yellowjackets responded quickly as they won on courts five and six in quick sets. Soon after they took court four and were ahead 3-1. Alex Gornet, Kougoucheff and Hedley were the remaining players.
Hedley had a close match with Li and edged him (7-6, 6-4). Despite winning his match Hedley could only focus on the team after the match.
“It obviously disappointing we lost,” Hedley said. “The doubles was big because have been doing so well and it gives us momentum but we just couldn’t take advantage after that.”
After Hedley’s win, Louisville was down 3-2. Gornet was facing no. 15 Chris Eubanks while Kougoucheff battled Carlos Benito. The match was still in reach for U of L.
Gornet dropped the first set 7-6 but was able to fight back to win the second 6-3. Ecarma said he felt like Gornet was in position to take the match but “played too much into Eubanks’ forehand” and couldn’t overcome the opponent. The senior Cardinal fell in the third set 6-4.
Kougoucheff was handled 6-2 in the first set but didn’t give up. In the second set he would beat Benito 7-6. The freshman couldn’t outlast GT’s junior as he dropped 6-3.
Ecarma emphasized to his team the importance of these games.
“I told them that we’re at home, we’ve got to win these,” Ecarma said. “We have to take care of these ACC games at home because on the road it’s a guillotine.”
Louisville is now 8-8. They will be back in action Sunday looking for their first conference win against Clemson. After the 12 p.m. match, they will host Northern Kentucky at 6 p.m. to close the double header.
Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal