January 18, 2018

Men tennis opens 2018 with wins over Butler and Toledo

By Dalton Ray —

In their season opener, men’s tennis defeated Butler 4-0 and Toledo 6-1. The Cardinals only dropped one singles match between the two teams.

Louisville opened their doubleheader by sweeping Butler, a 2017 NCAA tournament team.

“I knew it was going to be a war against Butler. The last time they saw us it was (last) May in the NCAA tournament,” coach Rex Ecarma said. “Anytime you play a conference champion, you know they won’t be intimidated and they’ll have a lot of pride.”

The sixth-ranked doubles pair of Chris Morin-Kougoucheff and Parker Wynn began the match with a 6-0 win. The Bulldogs won the next point, leading to George Headley and Federico Gomez clinching the doubles point with a 7-5 win.

U of L didn’t give Butler a chance in singles with three wins on courts two, three and four.

Wynn (6-3, 6-1), Gomez (6-4, 6-3) and Nicolas Rouanet (6-4, 6-0) registered wins, sealing the match for the Cards.

“(Toledo) is a regular team on our schedule, so it’s not like they’re in awe of us,” Ecarma said. “They really battled us tooth-and-nail in every match.”

Against the Rockets, Morin-Kougoucheff and Wynn (6-3) recorded another doubles win. Headley and Brandon Lancaster won 6-3, giving the point to U of L.

Wins from Headley and Rouanet put U of L up 3-0. Clement Filho fell 6-1, 6-4, giving Toledo their first point. Ciro Lampasas clinched the win with his 6-4, 6-2 victory.

Wynn (No. 119) was nearly pushed to a third set, but won 6-3, 7-5 to start the spring season at 2-0.

Gomez edged out a close set — 7-6, 7-6 — for the sixth point.

“We got better as we went on today. I have a lot of different options for Purdue,” Ecarma said. “I like the depth we have and I feel like I can play anyone.”

Louisville won’t have another home matched until Feb. 4 — Dartmouth and Austin Peavy. The Cards travel to Purdue on Jan. 20 and to Fort Worth, Texas for the ITA Kick-off Weekend from Jan. 26-28.

You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477. 

Photos by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal

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