Jags' men tennis team defeats Memphis for first NCAA Tournament win since 2008
STARKVILLE, Miss. – The University of South Alabama men's tennis team (15-9 captured its first NCAA Tournament win in 10 with a 4-3 victory over the No. 21 Memphis Tigers in the first round Friday in Starkville. The program's last NCAA Tournament victory came on May 10, 2008, over Alabama 4-3 in Tallahassee, Fla.
- Sacha Modica and Olivier Gingras kicked things off on court 2 with a 6-2 victory over Kai Lemke and Marshall Sullivan.
- Santiago di Loreto and Max Lapraille dropped a close 6-4 decision to Jan Pallares and Matt Story on court 3.
- No. 51 Loic Cloes and Clement Marzol were up 5-1 on court 1 against No. 40 Ryan Peniston and Andrew Watson, but fell as Memphis took the doubles point.
- Marzol was defeated by No. 36 Peniston on court 1, 6-4, 6-1.
- On court 2, Loic Cloes took down No. 88 Watson 6-4, 6-1.
- Lucas Gonzalez fell at No. 4 7-5, 6-2, to Memphis' Chris Patzanovsky.
- Modica then took his match on court 3, 7-5, 6-4, over Lempke.
- At No. 6, Lapraille battled to a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 win over Turner Voges.
- In the only match that went to a third set, Gingras took the third set in dominating fashion as he clinched the match 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 on court 6 over Pallares.
- This is the program's first NCAA Tournament victory since 2008, the last time they appeared in a NCAA Tournamnet.
- With his straight-set victory, Cloes extended his dual record to 21-1.
- South Alabama has won four straight matches.
- The program is 7-11 in the NCAA Tournament.
THEY SAID IT
Head Coach Nick Brochu
Opening Statement: "We thought we had the doubles point in the bag, and Memphis came back strong and played some
smart tennis, especially on big points. They took the doubles point away from us. Some of our players
were really angry and disappointed that we did not close the door when we had the chance. We had a
few match points, and we met after doubles and told them it was just one point at the end of the day. I
told them 'We have to go out there, and get four points. Whether it's three singles and one doubles, or
if its four singles, who cares, its four points.' I'm so proud of the way that we bounced back, because this is a win or go home tournament. A lot of players could have just checked out, and be playing in the past or keep thinking about why I didn't close
the match and putting that behind us. It starts with leadership. We had our senior captain (Olivier Gingras) close out the match. It was perfect. It was a good scenario for us, and we have grown so much during the year. If you would've told me back in early February that we would be here, and we would be going to the second round, it was a stretch."
On playing that last match: "The reason I can say we have grown so much in the year, is there is nothing better than having
Olivier serve for the match. He struggled early in the year with serving, and we worked so much
on that, and there is nothing better than seeing him serve for the match and clinch it."
Sr. Olivier Gingras
On playing that last match and winning: "It was hot. I thought I was dying over there. It feels great being able to come up and close out the match for my team against a great Memphis team. It's amazing, every match is potentially
my last match if I lose it. It's just great to survive and advance honestly. We have one more match to play."
On playing in the finals tomorrow: "It feels great. As a senior, you don't want to finish out the year. You want to keep playing on. Battling it out with my boys, my brothers, we are so close. It's a great feeling."
The Jags will face the winner of Tennessee Tech and Mississippi State May 12 at 1 p.m.