Baltimore, Md. – The UMBC men's tennis team defeat Xavier, 4-3, at the UMBC Tennis Complex, snapping a four game losing streak and improving to 10-7 on the campaign. Xavier slipped to 11-10 on the campaign.
The Retrievers earned the doubles point, defeating their opponents at the number 2 and 3 positions.
Junior Kamal Patel (Germantown, Md. / Seneca Valley) and sophomore partner Eliott Loubatie (Paris, France / Notre Dame De Boulogne) won their sixth match of the season together at the No. 3 spot.
Junior Daniel Gray (Bowie, Md./The Bullis School) and sophomore Alex Drean (Bayonne, France) clinched the point with an 8-5 triumph at the No. 2 position.
In singles, Drean competed in his first match of the season at the No. 2 spot, defeating Jimmy Roebker, 7-6 (3), 6-4. Junior Kamal Patel (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) also was victorious for the fourth time this season at the No. 5 position, winning his a close match 7-6 (4), 6-3.
The hero of the day was freshman Biyik Akinshemoyin (Laurel, Md./Resevoir), who played the last match of the day at the No. 6 position with the match deadlocked at 3-3.
Akinshemoyin handled his opponent, Matt Bishop, in the first set 6-2, but would fall by the same score in the second set, forcing a final set to decide the match. The rookie trailed, 4-2, and 5-4, with Bishop serving for the match, but Akinshemoyin broke, held and broke again to prevail, 7-5 and clinch the victory for UMBC.
"There was a lot of pressure on him out there, as a freshman, coming down to the deciding points," said Head Coach Rob Hubbard. "His teammates on the men's and women's teams were behind him, and some of the fans that came out helped get him through - he wanted it bad enough, and was able to pull it out".
The team travels to William & Mary tonight for a match tomorrow, Sunday April 6