BALTIMORE – A short-handed UMBC men's tennis team played an outstanding match and defeated a strong James Madison squad, 6-1, at 40 West Racquet Club on Saturday evening.
"I am really proud of our guys- we were a man down with two others not at 100 percent and we embraced the 'next man up' approach," head coach Rob Hubbard said. "Everyone came prepared, and, as a result, the men were able to secure a victory over a very strong James Madison squad.
The Retrievers improved to 4-3 on the season, while JMU slipped to 2-3. UMBC sophomore Justin Carter (Randallstown, Md.), who competes at No. 1 singles and doubles, did not compete due to illness.
The doubles point came down to the No. 2 match after the teams split at Nos. 1 (JMU) and 3 (UMBC). Junior Daniel Gray (Bowie, Md./The Bullis School) and sophomore Alex Drean (Bayonne, France) prevailed, 8-4, to give the Retrievers a 1-0 lead.
UMBC extended the advantage to 3-0 as sophomore Melker Svard (Gothenburg, Sweden) cruised past Robert Stirling, 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 singles and Gray edged Brett Moorhead, 6-3, 7-6 at the No. 4 position.
After the Dukes won at No. 1 singles, sophomore Eliott Loubatie (Paris, France) rallied from a 7-6 first set loss and clinched the match with a 6-7, 7-6, 6-1 triumph over Miljan Ruzic.
Freshman Biyik Akinshemoyin (Laurel, Md./Resevoir) and junior Kamal Patel (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) won at Nos. 6 and 5 singles respectively to finalize the score.
"The guys came out strong in the doubles and never looked back," Hubbard said. "All six starters were on top of their game (tonight).
"We are attracting a nice fan base too and that support really helped also during the course of the match."
UMBC returns to action on Feb. 28 when they host Bucknell University.