By Dalton Ray–
A down-to-the-wire match welded with senior day led to a high intensity afternoon for men’s tennis. The Cardinals fell 4-3 to the No. 38 Blue Devils and are now 0-3 all-time against Duke. The match is Louisville’s third home loss this season.
Coach Rex Ecarma said the Cardinals are strong in areas but need to put themselves in the right position.
“(George Hedley) is built to clinch, if we could have found three points outside of his court … he’s our closer, ” Ecarma said. “A lot of times a tennis match can be decided early. If we could have taken care of No. 2 doubles it would have been a different moment for us.”
In doubles, Chris Morin-Kougoucheff and Clement Filho fell 6-0. Donohue and Parker Wynn kept the Cards alive by defeating No. 22 Spencer Furman and Nick Stachowiak 6-3. Duke secured the point when George Hedley and Nicolas Rouanet fell 7-5.
Moving to singles, Louisville jumped up 2-1 with wins from Wynn and Rouanet. Wynn defeated No. 87 Furman 6-1, 6-2 and Rouanet won 6-1, 6-2.
Duke knotted the game at 2-2 with a win on court one. The focus shifted to the final three courts as the team to win two of the three clinched the match.
Duke’s Ryan Dickerson ended Brandon Lancaster’s comeback attempt with a 6-3, 6-4 win, giving Duke a 3-2 lead.
The Blue Devils clinched the match after TJ Pura defeated Filho 6-2, 7-6 (7-3). Filho held a 5-3 led in the second set, but couldn’t close out to make a third set.
Hedley finished shortly after Filho, winning 6-1, 3-6, 7-5.
Prior to match, Louisville honored their lone senior Donohue.
“Sean has been really ambitious and wants to do something special. We wouldn’t be in a position where we are at right now without Sean Donohue,” Ecarma said.
Louisville hosts their final two matches of the season against No. 12 North Carolina and IUPUI on April 23.
Photos by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal