PENSACOLA, Fla. – The No. 9 West Florida men’s tennis team fell short against top-ranked NAIA opponent Auburn Montgomery on Thursday afternoon at the Ralph “Skeeter” Carson Tennis Complex. The Argonauts fell to 1-1 with their first loss of the year, while the Senators remained undefeated.
The Senators took an early 2-1 lead in doubles. In the third doubles spot, Argonauts Kevin Ducros (freshman/Aix-en-Provence, France) and Sean Gunnels (freshman/Mobile, Ala.) fell 8-6 to the third duo from AUM formed by Victor Sanakai Papi and Jean-Oliver Hibert. In the first spot, Argonauts Andrey Pozhidaev (freshman/Sochi, Russia) and Nathan Rosenfeld (freshman/Miami, Fla.) were leading the Senators with two serve breaks up. However, their opponents from AUM Michael Johnson and Monte Tucker came back to defeat the Argos first duo in the tiebreak. The Argonauts earned its single point in doubles when the second duo former by Patrick Bateman (sophomore/Apopka, Fla.) and Luis Arboleda (senior/Medellin, Colombia) defeated Francisco Redondo and Nikola Miskovic 9-8 also in a tiebreak.
The teams played even in singles, with each winning three matches. The Senators got the 3-1 lead when third singles player Tucker defeated Argonaut Rosenfeld in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. The following five matches had to be decided in a third set. The Argonauts bounced back when Pozhidaev rallied from a set down to beat Johnson 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the second spot, giving the Argos its second point in the scoreboard. The Senators earned the 4-2 lead when Argonaut top player Ducros had the one set lead and dropped the following to sets to Sanakai Papi 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. The Argos responded by winning the next two matches. Winning his second match of the day, No. 41 Arboleda defeated Miskovic 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 in the fifth position. Playing only singles, Jose Ycaza (senior/Guayaquil, Ecuador) defeated the sixth player from AUM Hibert with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to tie the match at 4-4. Meanwhile, No. 48 Bateman and Redondo had a tied match at one set all and 5-5. Redondo broke Bateman’s serve and held his to finish the match with a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 to clinch the match for the Senators 5-4.
The Argonauts will go on the road on Friday, February 27th in Arkadelphia, Ark. to face No. 14 Ouachita Baptist (2-0, 1-0 GSC) on their home court at 1:00pm CT. For information on all UWF Athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.