TROY, AL (April 2, 2010) -- The Florida Atlantic University men's tennis team started the weekend's Sun Belt Shootout with an impressive 4-0 victory over Middle Tennessee State University on Friday in Troy, Ala. That victory has advanced the Owls into Saturday's noon semifinal match against the winner of the first-round match between Troy University and the University of New Orleans.
FAU improved to 11-6 on the season. The victory avenged a loss to Middle Tennessee in the title match of last year's conference tournament, won by the Blue Raiders 4-1.
"We used our focus and intensity to stay on top of the defending conference champions," said Men's Tennis Head Coach Brandon Stokes. "Each Owl was relentless. We have tremendous respect for MTSU which makes this victory important. This matkes the win important. It was a revenge match for losing in the conference finals last season. The boys are excited about the semifinal match."
Juniors Joshua Scholl and Ervin Garibovic clinched the match's doubles point with a come-from-behind 9-8 victory in the No. 2 position. The duo won six of the last seven games of the match after trailing 7-3. Junior Marc Abdelnour teamed with freshman Matthew Braunworth to win at No. 3 doubles, 8-6.
"The doubles portion of the match was an exciting roller coaster for both teams," said Stokes. "Ervin and Josh perservered and clinched a significant doubles point for us."
The Owls would continue the momentum in singles play with senior Lawrence Harradine picking up a win at No. 2 singles when his opponent withdrew from the match. Freshman Georg Matschke dropped only four games to record a straight-set 6-1, 6-3 victory in the No. 5 position. The win was Matschke's fifth straight and improved his record to 11-5 on the season.
Braunworth secured the FAU victory with a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 6 singles. The win tied the Boca Raton native for the team lead with 12 singles victories this spring.