The Florida A&M men’s tennis team was triumphant during its 2012 home opener, as it defeated Southern Mississippi by a 4-3 margin Monday afternoon at the Florida A&M Tennis Complex.
The match was arguably the Rattlers’ most competitive match of the season.
With the score knotted at three, the Rattlers relied on junior Takura Happy to seal the overall victory. Happy, who has put together strong performances all season, would not disappoint his team. Playing through a leg injury, the two-time All-MEAC first teamer and former MEAC rookie of the year bested Juan Escobar 7-5 to win the match for the Rattlers.
“I’m proud of them as always,” Head coach Carl Goodman told famuanathletics.com. “We’ve had about seven matches this far in the season where we won 4-3, so we’ve got the experience. It has come down to a matter of somebody stepping up and Takura has been a big time player for the last three years and he really stepped up this time again.”
The Rattlers lost the doubles point during the beginning of the match. FAMU’s Levan Clark and Salif Kante defeated Matt Frost and Paulo Alvarado 8-4. Paulo Alvarado and Juan Escobar defeated Happy and Chidi Gabriel by an 8-3 score. Andrew Goodwin and Michael Elortegui defeated Fabrice Myrtil and Temuera Asafu-Adjaye by the same score.
Salif Kante, a Public Relations student said, “playing at home and the fans energy really helped him get through the match.”
In singles, Kante defeated Matt Frost 6-3, 6-0 in the No.1 spot. Clark defeated Alvarado 6-0,6-1 in the No.2 slot. Gabriel defeated Belloso 7-6(2), 6-4 in the No.4 slot. Myrtil went down to Zeljkovic 6-1,6-2 in the No.5 slot. In the No.6 slot, Goodwin defeated Asafu-Adjaye 6-4, 6-1. These matches all resulted in a 3-3 tie.
Happy would later break the tie and seal the victory during the final match of competititon.
“It was the first home match so it was big for us and we just wanted to get the “W” so we did what we had to do and hard work pays off,” Kante said.
The Rattlers return to action of Saturday as they face the Jacksonville Dolphins at the FAMU tennis complex at 1 p.m.