Mount Pleasant, S.C.- Visiting UMBC nearly cooled off a red-hot College of Charleston squad, but the Cougars won their sixth consecutive match, edging UMBC, 5-2, at the CofC Tennis Center.
UMBC freshman standout Justin Carter (Randallstown, Md./National Connections Academy) continued his torrid play, winning at both No. 1 doubles and singles. Carter, a two-time America East Player of the Week, extended his singles' winning streak to five in a row.
Carter and senior Gaulthier Berret (Lagny Sur Marne, France) clinched the doubles point for UMBC, as they outlasted Brice Allanic-Charlie Ghriskey, 9-8 at the No. 1 position. The two squads split the first two doubles matches, as the Retriever freshman duo of Melker Svard (Gothenburg, Sweden)-Elliot Loubatie (Paris, France) opened the proceedings with an 8-6 triumph at the No. 2 position.
Trailing 1-0, the host Cougars finished off the first three singles matches in straight sets at Nos. 6, 4, and 2 to take a 3-1 advantage. Carter split the first two sets with Allanic, but outlasted the French junior, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 to bring UMBC to within 3-2.
Berret and UMBC sophomore Kamal Patel (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) were locked in three-set battles at the Nos. 3 and 5 positions respectively. Berret won the first set, 6-4, and took the second set to a tie-breaker, while Patel rallied to knot his match by capturing the second set, 7-5. But the Cougars' Crescente Lesser prevailed in the tie-breaker over Berret and then flnalized the match by taking the deciding set, 6-2.
Patel could not pick up the third point for UMBC, falling to Alon Faiman, 6-2, 5-7, 7-6.
UMBC slipped to 5-6 with the setback, while CofC improved to 8-6.
The Retrievers head north to face James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va. on Sunday, March 24.