The Florida A&M men’s tennis team earned a 6-1 victory against conference-rival Bethune-Cookman during its final match of the regular season Saturday at the FAMU Tennis Complex.
The Rattlers entered the matchup with history on their side, as their winning streak over the Wildcats dates back to more than two decades.
“B-CU is our arch rival and us beating them says a lot about our skill,” head coach Carl Goodman said. “They haven’t won a match against us in almost 25 years. This was a good last match and a good win. In doubles we swept the three wins and won five out of six singles.”
Goodman added: “Our only senior Levan Clark had a great ending to his experience on the team. He played really well.”
Salif Kante and Chidi Gabriel defeated B-CU’s Marc Misanvic and Artem Vassiliev 8-4 in doubles play, while Levan Clark and Fabrice Myrtil defeated Juan Varon and Santiago Lobelo 8-3. Takura Happy and Temuera Asafu Adjaye defeated Gilbert Kibet and Diego Garvito 8-5 to conclude doubles.
“We went out there and handled our business,” Gabriel said. “It’s been a while since we’ve lost to B-CU. The goal was to dominate in both singles and doubles, and the goal was accomplished.”
FAMU continued its momentum during singles play, as Clark defeated Misanovic 7-5, 6-2. Kante steamrolled Varon 6-0, 6-2; while Happy defeated Diego Garvito 6-4, 6-7, 10-5. Gabriel flattened Lobelo 6-3, 7-5; and Temuera defeated Kip Jackson 6-2, 6-4. Myrtil carded the Rattlers’ only defeat, as he fell 6-3, 6-3 to Vassiliev.
FAMU’s display against the Wildcats on Saturday mirrored its performance in singles and doubles play all season.
With the regular season behind them, the Rattlers will turn their attention toward the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship. The championship will begin Thursday in Raleigh, N.C., at the Millbrook Tennis Center.
“We played OK; this was a good warm up for the tournament next week,” Kante said. “In North Carolina is where we really want to succeed. Our goal this game was to win every match and close matches as quickly as possible. At the end of the day, we won. Coach told us to have killer instinct, and we did. We wanted to think of this match like a quarter or semi-final.”