Huskers Fall Short in Close Match
Gainesville, Fla. – Playing in their second consecutive NCAA Tournament, the No. 41 Nebraska men’s tennis team’s first round match Friday afternoon in Gainesville, Fla., against the No. 27 Miami Hurricanes was tied 3-3 and came down to court No. 5 between NU’s Tom Blackwell and Miami’s Gabriel Flores. Blackwell was able to force the third set, but Flores came away with the matches’ clinching point, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-2, picking up the fourth point for Miami and thus giving them the victory, 4-3.
“It was a great college match,” Nebraska head coach Kerry McDermott said afterwards. “It came down to the wire, and had all the makings of a great match.”
The Huskers started the match by winning the doubles point when NU’s 65th-ranked duo of Christopher Aumueller and Andre Stenger defeated Miami’s Omar Aly and Keith Crowley, 8-2, on court one. Aumueller and Stenger’s victory clinched the point for the Huskers. Winning the first doubles match for the Huskers was the tandem of Benedikt Lindheim and Calin Paar, who were victorious on court two over Christian Blocker and Waylon Chin, 8-5.
“I felt that we played good doubles today, and it gave us good momentum and energy going into singles play,” McDermott said.
On court one NU’s 70th-ranked Aumueller was victorious over Miami’s Crowley, 6-1, 2-6, 6-3. Miami’s Blocker defeated Paar, 6-3, 6-4. Paar was playing at the number two spot in the Huskers’ lineup. At the number three spot, Lindheim was victorious in straight sets over Miami’s Chin, 6-0, 6-1.
“We started singles play well, especially at the one and three spots,” McDermott said. “But we struggled at the bottom of the lineup and they were able to take advantage.”
After winning two points in the top half of the singles lineup, the Huskers were unable to pick up a point in the bottom half. Playing at the number four spot in the Huskers’ lineup was Stenger, who was defeated by Miami’s Eduardo Pavia, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. On court six, Miami’s Diego Soto was victorious over Nebraska’s Sebastian Florczyk, 6-4, 7-6 (1).
“Lots of blood, sweat and tears went into this match, and the sad thing is it was our guys with the tears at the end of it,” McDermott said. “I have to give our guys credit because part of our goals this year was to make the NCAAs, and we did that. Now we need to continue to work and improve over the summer and then continue to improve next season while playing in the Big Ten.”
This was the Huskers second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, as they finished the season with an overall record of 15-13.
No. 27 Miami 4; No. 41 Nebraska 3
1. Aumueller/Stenger (NU) def. Aly/Crowley (UM), 8-6
2. Lindheim/Paar (NU) def. Blocker/Chin (UM), 8-5
3. Boney/Schulze (NU) vs. Ast/Pavia (UM), DNF
1. Christopher Aumueller (NU) def. Keith Crowley (UM), 6-1, 2-6, 6-3
2. Christian Blocker (UM) def. Calin Paar (NU), 6-3, 6-4
3. Benedikt Lindheim (NU) def. Waylon Chin (UM), 6-0, 6-1
4. Eduardo Pavia (UM) def. Andre Stenger (NU), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
5. Gabriel Flores (UM) def. Tom Blackwell (NU), 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-2
6. Diego Soto (UM) def. Sebastian Florczyk (NU), 6-4, 7-6(1)
Order of Finish: