After claiming the doubles point early, the East Carolina University men’s tennis team fell short to North Florida University 4-3 on Wednesday afternoon.
ECU (11-3) lost for the first time in five road matches while North Florida (5-8) broke its five match losing streak coming into Wednesday.
The Pirates started off strong against the Ospreys by winning two of the three doubles matches and fought hard through a tiebreaker in the third and final doubles match to start them off with a 1-0 lead.
Redshirt junior tennis player Austin Allen and freshman tennis player Diogo Marques continued to shine as they won their sixth straight match as a pair overall against North Florida's Sahil Deshmukh and Dominik Barton 6-2. The doubles duo of seniors tennis player Vlad Angel and Will Bissett lost to North Florida’s Federico Nani and Jorge Nunez 6-4.
The final doubles match ended in an exciting way as ECU sophomore tennis player Wisse Jonker and junior tennis player Javier Renones, won in a tiebreaker against Ospreys Nilo Duarte and Till Von Winning 7-6 (9-7) to give the Pirates the 1-0 lead.
The Pirates 1-0 lead slowly began to slip away as the singles matches began to get started up as Renones was the only Pirate to clench an opening set. The Ospreys were able to win five of the six first single sets.
North Florida began to regain its confidence as Deshmukh beat Marques 6-2, 6-4. ECU fired back when Renones won 6-2, 6-2 against Nunez. Renones has been a strong asset for this ECU team as this was his tenth straight singles victory.
After that, the Ospreys ran with it as Nilo Duarte defeated senior Ronny Georgi 6-3, 7-5 while Anghel fell to Barton 6-3, 6-4. With those two losses, North Florida took its first lead.
ECU was in a tight situation as it needed both Jonker and Bissett to win their matches in order for them to pull out a victory, but that did not happen. Both Jonker and Bissett were able to come back in their second sets as they had first set deficits. North Florida was able to clench its win as Jonker suffered a hard loss to Van Winning 2-6, 6-4, 4-6. Bissett won his match 1-6 (5-7), 6-4, 7-6, but was not enough to win the match.
“It was great to see us play so well in doubles as we have been putting a lot of emphasis on that over the past few weeks,” assistant coach Ian Van Cott said in a press release. “Losing ones like this are always painful, but I know our guys will learn from it and continue to press on.”
The Pirates will have an 11 day break before their next game in Williamsburg, Virginia, where they will go head-to-head against William and Mary on Sunday, March 17.