By Riley Vance —
No. 37 men’s tennis (11-4) faced a tough, close match against No. 41 Northwestern (8-8) this past weekend. The Cardinals fought hard, but came up short losing 4-3.
“Obviously, this is a tough pill to swallow,” head coach Rex Ecarma said. “It’s very, very tough for the guys right now. But they know the (upcoming) Notre Dame match is a big match. We will not get down. This will motivate us even more.
The doubles lineup remained the same as usual, with senior Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff and freshman Fabien Salle at the No. 1 spot. Seniors Brandon Lancaster and George Hedley played at the No. 2 spot, followed by freshman Alex Wesbrooks and senior Federico Gomez at No. 3.
Kougoucheff and Salle completed their match first with a 6-3 win over Northwestern. Court two suffered a loss, followed by a 6-4 win from Wesbrooks and Gomez to secure the doubles point for Louisville.
Singles play was long and hard-fought, with matches going into third sets and an injured Cardinal.
To start off, Northwestern evened the overall score with a win at the No. 6 spot. Louisville fought back with a 6-2, 6-4 win by No. 4 Sergio Hernandez Ramirez to put the Cardinals ahead again.
Louisville suffered another loss on court two, evening the score. No. 1 Kougoucheff turned his match around after losing the first set (3-6, 6-4, 6-3) to give the Cards the lead once again.
Senior Gomez won his first set 7-6, but lost the second set 6-7 after an unfortunate injury during the tiebreaker. He was competitive throughout, but fell short in the third set.
With a 3-3 overall score at this point, Louisville lost its last singles match to give Northwestern the point they needed for the win.
Men’s tennis is back in action as the team hosts No. 13 Notre Dame on Sunday, March 10 at 1:30 p.m. at the Bass Rudd Tennis Center.
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Photos by Riley Vance / The Louisville Cardinal