After winning the doubles matches against the College of Charleston it seemed as though the East Carolina men’s tennis team would earn its 15th victory on the season, but it ended up faltering in singles play and dropped a 4-3 decision.
Vlad Anghel and Fredric Lehfeldt battled throughout their doubles match, exchanging set wins with their opponents looking for a break to finish off their opponents. Their match was forced into a tiebreaker where Anghel and Lehfeldt picked up the seventh-set win in real dramatic fashion to win 7-6(3) to give the Pirates their first win on the day in doubles.
Ronny Georgi and Kasey Countee also saw their battle enter a tiebreaker, and they picked up their seventh set win in the end to win their match 7-6(5) to give ECU its second points on the day. Freddie McGeehan and James Ling played hard and seemed to respond every time their opponents picked up a set win with one of their own. Their opponents found a break in the end and pick up the sixth-set win to wrap up doubles play.
All of the singles matches went to three sets as both teams looked to pick up the victory for their respective schools, but the Pirates couldn’t carry their momentum from doubles to singles and lost the overall match.
“What a match,” head coach Shawn Heinchon said. “I’m not sure I’ve seen anything closer with all six singles matches going to three sets.”
Javier Renones picked up a victory for the Pirates at the No. 6 spot in the third set after winning the first set 6-3, and losing the second set by the same count. Renones used the same score to clinch the victory.
Will Bissett picked up the victory at the No. 5 spot for the Pirates after his opponent retired in the third set when Bissett was up 3-1. After losing the first set 6-4, Bissett responded in the second set with an identical 6-4 victory of his own.
Georgi and Countee forced their matches to three sets, after winning their second sets in tiebreakers. The third sets to their matches went to tiebreakers as well, where both of their opponents won in dramatic fashion 7-5 each to help give the Cougars the victory.
Lehfeldt dominated the first set of his match to win 6-0 to give him the momentum heading into the second set. His opponent battled back into the match with a 6-4 victory over him. The third set was a tight match as both players volleyed back and forth, but his opponent emerged victorious resulting in the sixth-set win to the match for Charleston.
Anghel lost the first set of his match 6-2, but he dominated the second set 6-1 to force the third set. In the third set, Anghel struggled throughout and could not find a break to get into the match, as he ended up losing 6-2.
“It’s a heartbreaking loss when you fight so long and hard and you come up just a little short,” Heinchon said. “That being said, I am proud of our guys’ fight, especially after our performance yesterday. They showed a lot of guts today.”
With the loss, the Pirates are now 5-4 on the road and prepare to take on William and Mary on Friday.
“I wish more people could have seen us compete today, you would have been an instant Pirate tennis fan,” Heinchon said.