March 8, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - Winning its third straight match and second in two days, Loyola Marymount men's tennis posted its biggest win of the young season Wednesday. The Lions defeated 66th-ranked Yale 4-3 at the LMU Tennis Center.
With the win, the Lions improve to 4-6 on the season and have won three straight contests.
"This was an unbelievable battle," LMU Head Coach Nik DeVore said. "We always have great matches with Yale, which is why we have developed a friendly rivalry over the past severalyears. During these last two matches with Georgia State and Yale, our guys have a new found confidence that wasmissing earlier in the season."
The doubles point was highly contested but LMU managed to pull out an 8-6 win at No. 3 doubles to secure the point. Mike Wojnarowicz and Linas Cicenas dominated Yale's team of Rynolds/Green at No. 1, winning handily 8-3.
"Mike and Linas were on fire today," DeVore said. "They played with a ton of energy and confidence and it really paid off. We knew that we were still in for abattle though. The Ivy League teams are always fighters, and last year we lost 6-1 to Yale after winning the doubles point."
Yale evened the match with a 7-5, 6-0 win at No. 6 singles, but Wojnarowicz and junior Reyniere Roxas put the Lions back on top with straight set wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots to put the Lions up 3-1.Wojnarowicz's opponent had tallied a 17-5 record on the season, including a victory over a top-75 player.
"Mike Wojnarowicz was as mentally strong as I have ever seen him," DeVore said. "He was extremely focused throughout thematch and was able to close out a very strong player in straight sets.Reyniere, who I don't think played his best tennis today, played with a lot ofsmarts today. He played to his opponents' weaknesses and was extremelysteady throughout the match."
On court one, junior Nico Terrien battled 55th-ranked Brandon Wai, but eventually went down 7-6, 7-6 to make the matchscore 3-2.
Needing just one more point to secure the win, LinasCicenas was locked in a battle with Yale's Jeff Dawson. Cicenas dropped thefirst set 6-4, but fought back for a 6-3 win in the second. The thirdset was tight all the way, but Cicenas was eventually able to serve out thematch 6-4 to secure the win and the match for the Lions.
"Linas came up huge for us today when we needed him the most," DeVore said. "He has shown signs of great play throughout the spring, buthas had trouble putting a complete match together. He faced a ton ofadversity and pressure in this match, but stayed very strong mentally andwas finally able to serve out the match and clinch the victory for us."
Senior Mike Chan had had an opportunity to close out the match for the Lions when he was servingfor the match at 7-5, 6-5, and 30-love, but Rowan Reynolds of Yale fought back to eventually take the second set 7-6. Reynolds also wenton to win the third set 6-2.
"The win over Georgia State, who was alsovery tough, really helped to turn things around for us," DeVore said. "Everyone iscompeting much harder now, and we seem to be a lot stronger mentally whenthe matches get tight. Mike, Linas, and Rey really came through for ustoday. Thiswas obviously a big win for us. We have now won three in a row and our teamconfidence is on the rise. We have a lot of tough matches coming up, so wewill need to continue to improve and compete hard."
The Lions host Boston College Friday and Montana State Saturday. Both matches begin at 1:30 p.m. at the LMU Tennis Center.
Loyola Marymount 4, #66 Yale 3
1.Wojnarowicz/Cicenas (LMU) def. Reynolds/Green (YALE) 8-3
2.Wai/Lederman (YALE) def. Phillips/Malet (LMU) 8-6
3.Terrien/Chan (LMU) def. Gudzowski/Dawson (YALE) 8-6
1.Brandon Wai (YALE) def. Nico Terrien (LMU) 7-6, 7-6
2.Mike Wojnarowicz (LMU) def. Milosz Gudzowski (YALE) 7-6, 6-2
3.Reyniere Roxas (LMU) def. Mike Caldwell (YALE) 6-2, 6-4
4.Linas Cicenas (LMU) def. Jeff Dawson (YALE) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
5.Rowan Reynolds (YALE) def. Mike Chan (LMU) 5-7, 7-6, 6-2
6.Josh Lederman (YALE) def. Carlos Malet (LMU) 7-5, 6-0