The Rattler men’s tennis team suffered its first loss in 2004 in a dual match to the Tigers of Princeton University at home Friday 7-2. With the loss the men fall to 1-1 for the season. Though this was only the second official match of the season, the team has been competing in tournaments since the fall and has experienced its share of rough terrain.
“We’ve had our ups and downs, hopefully this is the last down,” head coach Carl Goodman said.
In the No. 1 doubles match, juniors Yves Sinson and Davin Russel overpowered Princeton senior Daniel Friedman and sophomore Darius Craton in an eight game pro set tiebreak 9-8 (7-3).
The battle of sheer strength and determination was filled with big serves and long rallies, usually ending with a powerful winner.
“I think [Davin and I] did well to win the doubles (match).” Stinson said. “That will help our ranking.”
In the No. 2 doubles match, FAMU junior Pfungwa Mahefu and sophomore Zurah Zhvania lost to Princeton junior David Gopstein and sophomore Andrew Lieu 8-4. The Tigers controlled the match as Gopstein pulled off a behind-the-back passing shot for a winner.
The No. 3 doubles tandem of Rattler freshmen Jarrel Williams and Frank Green III lost 9-7 in one of the more exciting matches of the day. Williams and Green managed to tie the match up at six by breaking serve against Princeton’s freshman Sratha Saengsuwarn and sophomore Hans Plukas.
“They played more aggressively than we did,” Green said.
The Tigers continued to serve the Rattlers defeat as the afternoon progressed.
In the No. 1 singles match, Craton’s massive forehand was too much for Mahefu, overpowering the Mutare, Zimbabwe native, despite a valiant effort.
Russell didn’t fair much better, falling to Friedman 6-0,2-6, in the No. 2 singles match.
Meanwhile Sinson showed the heart of a warrior losing 6-1, 6-3 to Lieu, playing with a back injury that had to be treated immediately after the match.
“My back was kind of tense.” Sinson said. “I have a big serve, it effects that.”
Zhvania claimed the only “W” in singles competition for the Rattlers, defeating Pluckas in a thrilling two set match that ended with Zhvania ripping a huge forehand down the line in a ten-point tiebreaker to win the match.
“I played my normal game. That’s all I did.” Zhvania said.
Contact Nick Birdsong at email@example.com.