By Riley Vance & Jocelyn Kronoveter —
After a victorious weekend in the Ville, men’s tennis moved forward for its second straight doubleheader Thursday, Feb. 21. The Cards moved to 11-3 overall with wins against NKU and Xavier.
The lineup looked slightly different from previous matches with Brandon Lancaster and George Hedley at the No. 1 spot for doubles. Following them was freshman Fabien Salle and senior Federico Gomez at the No. 2 spot, and junior Fredrik Moe and freshman Marcus Sulen at the No. 3 spot.
Seniors Lancaster and Hedley finished first with a 6-2 win. Salle and Gomez led 5-4 when Moe and Sulen came through with a 6-3 win, securing the doubles point for the Cards.
New faces were featured in the singles lineup with freshman Juan Paredes at No. 5 and Sulen at No. 6.
Paredes finished strong with a score of 6-3, 6-0.
Next came No. 3 Gomez at 6-1, 6-3, providing Louisville a 3-0 lead overall.
Freshman Sergio Hernandez Ramirez wrapped up his match at the No. 2 spot with a score of 6-3, 6-2. Trailing him was Sulen with another win of 6-2, 6-4.
Lancaster brought the Cards another point at the No. 1 spot with his 6-3, 6-3 victory.
To conclude the match, Salle defeated his opponent (6-2, 6-4, 6-4), giving U of L a 7-0 win over NKU.
Louisville completed the doubleheader with a 5-2 win over Xavier, marking five consecutive victories for the Cardinals.
“Xavier really made us push. Some of those guys we know very well,” head coach Rex Ecarma said. “We’re not even halfway through the season and I believe the guys have played 26 or 27 matches already. I was really glad they pushed it in the third set. Gomez got his, Salle didn’t get his, but again we had a short week.”
The No. 1 doubles team of Salle and senior Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff finished first, winning their match 6-2. Lancaster and Hedley followed at No. 2 with a 6-3 win, clinching the doubles point for Louisville.
In singles, No. 1 Morin-Kougoucheff put the Cards in front with winning scores of 6-1, 6-2.
No. 6 Parades lost the next match (6-1, 6-3) as the Musketeers put themselves on the scoreboard.
No. 2 Lancaster put the Cardinals ahead with scores of 6-2, 6-1. No. 4 Hernandez Ramirez clinched the overall victory with a 7-6, 6-1 win and Gomez followed with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 decision.
“It’s like football, you have a Sunday game and all of a sudden you have a Thursday night game,” Ecarma said, referring to his team’s previous doubleheader less than a week ago. “That’s how we felt. We were much fresher in the morning, and you could see the wear and tear by the end.”
Up next, Louisville men’s tennis hosts Northwestern on Sunday, March 3 at noon.
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Photos by Gabriel Wiest / The Louisville Cardinal