Monday, February 11, 2013
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Senior Daniel Sotomarino won four straight games in the third set to earn a match-clinching victory at No. 2 singles, leading the University of North Florida men's tennis team to a 4-3 home victory over No. 75 Louisiana on Monday evening.
Monday marked the Ospreys' first match at the UNF Tennis Complex this season, and they christened the newly-renovated facility in style with a gutsy win that came down to the final match.
After Sotomarino won the first set, 6-4, over Jake Wynan of UL, the Ragin' Cajun battled back to force a deciding third set. Sotomarino fell behind 3-2 in the final set before running off wins in four consecutive games to claim the both the singles match and the crucial fourth point in what was, at the time, a 3-3 match.
"Daniel clinched the match the way you would expect from a clutch senior," Head Coach Adam Schaechterle said. "He was aggressive and trusted his game in the match was on the line. I was very proud of his style of play in the final three games."
UNF started the dual match in fine form, coming back from defecits in all three matches to claim the doubles point. Seniors Daniel Sotomarino and Julien Belair battled back to claim an 8-6 win over Hunter Johnson and Yates Johnson at No. 2, while senior Moritz Buerchner and sophomore Norbert Nemcsek fought back against Rick de Groot and Wynan to earn a win at No. 1 in a tiebreaker, 8-7(3).
The match at No. 3 was also in a tiebreaker, but was left unfinished after Buerchner and Nemcsek clinched the doubles point with their win.
"The guys loved showing off our new courts in front of the home crowd," Schaechterle said. "I felt like our doubles play got a great boost of energy playing at home for the first time."
Buerchner kicked singles play off on the right foot for the Ospreys, carrying over momentum from doubles and making quick work of de Groot at No. 1, 6-1, 6-1. Nemcsek also earned a victory in straight sets at No. 4, besting Edgar Lopez, 6-4, 6-0; a victory that gave the Ospreys a 3-1 lead in the match.
Senior Pedro Davisson fought through an early injury to force Hunter Johnson to three sets, but ultimately fell, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Belair also dropped a hard-fought decision to Jarred Wynan at No. 3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, setting the stage for Sotomarino's match-clinching victory at No. 2 singles.
The win brought the Ospreys' record to 2-4 on the season. UNF has played five nationally-ranked teams, including four on the road, thus far in the 2013 campaign.
"Looking forward, we're going to need some more consistency from the bottom of our lineup," Schaechterle said. "We've given away one singles match in every dual we've played against a ranked team, and good teams don't do that. We're fortunate that we're deep enough to have other options and, at this point in the season, I'm really looking for someone to step up and solidify a spot there."
The Ospreys will be back in action on Saturday, February 16, when they travel to Atlanta, Ga. to face off against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are currently No. 65 in the ITA Men's National Team Rankings.