NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Lewis-Clark State Men’s Tennis team pushed No. 7 and host team Xavier University (La.) to the limit but fell 4-2 in the semifinals of the NAIA Unaffiliated Group tournament at the XULA Tennis Center.
“We threw everything at the host team, rated in the top five,” LC coach Kai Fong said. “Up and down the lineup we played like we belong despite not having any in the rating polls.”
Dan Felker and Maksim Matyrnyi pulled off a major upset in No. 1 doubles. The duo defeated Jacobi Bain and Nereo Suarez, the No. 2 doubles team in the ITA NAIA Rankings, 7-6(4).
Felker and Matyrnyi jumped out to a 5-2 lead before losing the next four games. After losing the first two points in the 12th game, the Warrior team was able to rally to extend the match to a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Bain and Suarez started strong with a 3-1 lead before Felker and Matyrnyi won six of the next seven points for the upset win.
“So very proud of how we played,” Fong added. “Nothing else mattered today except going for the ‘W.’”
Itaru Kikuchi and Austin Swing were victorious in No. 3 doubles against Guillermo Coiras and Dedric Ray 6-4 to help secure the doubles point for LC State.
Declan Townsend earned a tough three-set win over Julius Hell in No. 2 singles with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory. Felker was into the latter part of his No. 1 singles third set when his match against Jacobi Bain was called 6-2, 4-6, 4-4.
Matyrnyi pushed his No. 6 singles match to a third set before falling to Jered Wilson 6-3, 1-6, 6-4. Cade Edwards, Kikuchi and Swing each lost in straight sets.
“So many things went against us,” Fong said. “We had players cramping, we had unpenalized code violations, we had a shorter than normal warmup, we had a rain delay…we had not much that resembled a routine match preparation.”
- Dan Felker/Maksim Matyrnyi (LCSC) def. Jacobi Bain/Nereo Suarez (XULA) 7-6(4)
- Mathieu Strauss/Julius Hell (XULA) def. Declan Townsend/Cade Edwards (LCSC) 6-4
- Itaru Kikuchi/Austin Swing (LCSC) def. Guillermo Coiras/Dedric Ray (XULA) 6-4
- Dan Felker (LCSC) vs. Jacobi Bain (XULA) 6-2, 4-6, 4-4 DNF
- Declan Townsend (LCSC) def. Julius Hell (XULA) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
- Nereo Suarez (XULA) def. Cade Edwards (LCSC) 6-4, 6-4
- Mathieu Strauss (XULA) def. Itaru Kikuchi (LCSC) 6-4, 6-4
- Guillermo Coiras (XULA) def. Austin Swing (LCSC) 7-6(8), 6-3
- Jered Wilson (XULA) def. Maksim Matyrnyi (LCSC) 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
The Warriors will return home to face Bellevue Community College in a non-team scoring event on Saturday, April 29.
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