In a battle between two nationally-ranked teams, No.- 47 McMurry University's men's tennis squad dropped a tough decision to No. 46 Southeastern Oklahoma State University, 5-4, at the Seidel-Swagerty Tennis Center.
The War Hawks jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the team score by sweeping all three doubles matches. But it was not without some sweat.
At No. 1 doubles, Chris Breaux and Casjen Rico scored an 8-5 win over the Storm's Luka Radulovic and Tiago Ferreira. At No. 2 doubles, the McM tandem of Felipe Cruz – last week's Heartland Conference “Player of the Week” – and Dani Perez gutted out a 9-8 (7-2) win over Southeastern Oklahoma's Martin Bedecarratz and Filip Palovic.
No. 3 doubles was also a slugfest, with the War Hawks' Preston Steblein and Christiano Mendes gaining the 9-7 win over Laerico Lobo and Billy Haugen.
The Storm knotted the team score at 3-3 winning the first three matches off the court in singles play, at the Nos. 4, 1 and 3 positions. McMurry crept ahead when Rico scored a 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 6 singles, to make it 4-3.
The only remaining matches left on the court – the Nos. 5 and 2 slots – both split sets. In the No. 5 singles match, Mendes lost the first set to Ferreira, 7-5, but bounced back to win the second set, also by a 7-5 score. However, the elongates match in the 90-degree heat appeared to take its toll on Mendes as he was forced to retire from the match after cramping up and trailing 3-0 in the final set.
That tied the team score at 4-4 and shifted the focus to No. 2 singles, where McM's Cruz won the first set, 6-3, but lost the second to Southeastern Oklahoma State's Palovic, 6-3. With the match on the line, Palovic won the deciding third set, 6-2.
McMurry University Men's Tennis
Southeastern Oklahoma State vs McMurry University (Apr 08, 2013)
#46 Southeastern Oklahoma State 5, #47 McMurry University 4 Apr 08, 2013 at Abilene, Texas (Seidel-Swagerty Tennis Center)
1. Luka Radulovic (SEO) def. Chris Breaux (MCMMT) 6-4, 6-4 2. Filip Palovic (SEO) def. Felipe Cruz (MCMMT) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 3. Martin Bedecarratz (SEO) def. Dani Perez (MCMMT) 6-3, 6-4 4. Laerico Lobo (SEO) def. Preston Steblein (MCMMT) 6-3, 6-3 5. Tiago Ferreira (SEO) def. Christiano Mendes (MCMMT) 7-5, 5-7, 3-0, retired 6. Casjen Rico (MCMMT) def. Billy Haugen (SEO) 6-3, 6-4
Information for this story provided by McMurry Sports Information.