March 2, 2018

Men’s tennis knocks off defending national champion Virginia

By Dalton Ray —

Men’s tennis pushed their winning streak to six with a 6-1 statement win over the three-time defending national champion Virginia. The win pushes No. 35 Louisville to 9-3 and 1-0 in ACC play.

Coach Rex Ecarma said the Cardinals had to overcome the “V” on the chest of their opponents.

“They’ve been the marquee program in our sport almost for a decade. They’ve probably spent more time at No. 1 in the past eight years than any other team in the country,” Ecarma said. “It’s a great victory in the sense of you have to cover who they are and they program they are.”

Louisville earned the doubles point with tight matches across the board. George Headley and Ciro Lampasas won 6-3 on court three to give U of L the early advantage.

The No. 18 doubles team of Chris Morin-Kougoucheff and Parker Wynn sealed the point with a 7-5 win. Louisville swept doubles when Federico Gomez and Brandon Lancaster won 7-6 (7-4).

Shifting to singles, Lancaster notched the second point with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Ammar Alhaqbani. Gomez followed his doubles teammate with a 6-3, 6-4 win on court four.

With Virginia pressing to make a potential comeback, Lampasas sealed the match with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 win on court six.

“The first set was tight, we kept going back and forth. The coaching I had from coach (Jakob Gustafsson) got me through the 6-4 win,” Lampasas said. “In the third set coach G told me a few things to change. His coaching really changed the match.”

Wynn had the most significant singles win, knocking off No. 18 Aswin Lizen 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Louisville has three straight wins over potential NCAA tournament teams in Virginia, Georgia State and Northwestern. Prior to the win streak, the Cardinals lost three straight matches.

“We lost to three top 25 teams, they weren’t bums. But we realized we’re a better team than that,” Ecarma said. “I put these guys through boot camp the last three weekends … they’ve really responded. They didn’t pout. They’ve gone through hell and we haven’t lost since.”

The Cardinals travel to No. 21 Notre Dame, a noted rivalry for Ecarma’s team, March 10.

You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477. 

Photos by Taris Smith / The Louisville Cardinal

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