W&M Advances to Title Match with win over BYU
January 31st, 2009 by WY Daily Staff
Williamsburg – The No. 63 William and Mary men’s tennis team upended No. 65-ranked BYU, 5-2, in the opening round of the 2009 Tribe National Indoor Invitational at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center on Friday afternoon. With the victory, the College improved to 8-2 on the year, which marked the best Tribe record over the opening 10 matches of the season since 2000.
“We didn’t play our best tennis today, but the guys came out and fought hard for the victory,” head coach Peter Daub said. “Sometimes that is more important, and it was a welcomed sight in a nice win over a good BYU team.”
The Tribe took the initial point of the match, claiming the first two doubles positions. The Green and Gold’s top pair of junior Keziel Juneau and sophomore Sebastien Vidal started things off with an 8-4 win over Thomas Shubert and Cassidy Mears. The triumph pushed the duo’s season mark to 11-4 as the W&M tandem defeated a BYU team that was ranked No. 4 in the ITA Mountain Region following the fall season. The Tribe pair of senior Dominic Pagon and freshman Ilja Orre remained perfect on the season, clinching the point with an 8-2 victory at the No. 2 slot. Pagon and Orre improved to 4-0 on the season, defeating the Cougar duo of Evan Ubrina and A.J. Young, which entered the spring ranked No. 7 in the ITA Mountain Region.
The College jumped out to a 2-0 cushion thanks to some impressive play from Juneau at the No. 1 singles position. The Repentigny, Quebec native cruised to an easy 6-3, 6-2 win over Shubert, who was ranked No. 11 in the ITA Mountain Region in singles. Juneau improved his team-best record to 12-5 overall and 8-2 in dual-match competition.
After a BYU victory at the No. 5 singles slot, Pagon pulled out a come-from-behind three-set victory at the No. 3 spot to pull the Green and Gold within a singles win of the team victory. After dropping the first set, 6-3, the Kingston, Jamaica native cruised to a 6-1 victory in the second, knotting the match and forcing a decisive third set. After trading breaks to open the third set, the Cougars’ Roman Warias led 2-1, before Pagon took five of the final six games to record the win. The Tribe senior improved to 8-5 overall in singles on the season and a perfect 4-0 at the No. 3 singles position.
The Cougars pulled back within one with a straight-sets victory at the No. 2 singles position, before Vidal clinched the team victory with a win at the No. 4 spot. After cruising to a 6-1 win in the first set, Vidal jumped out to an early break and led 5-4 in the second. Mears broke Vidal’s serve to even the match at five, but the Tribe sophomore responded with a break of his own and served out the match for a 7-5 second-set victory. He upped his season mark to 10-6, including a 4-2 ledger in dual matches. Orre rounded out the Tribe victory with a win at the No. 6 singles slot. The Helsinki, Finland native downed Daniel Hwang in three sets, 6-4, 3-6, 10-7, for his sixth singles victory of the season.
In the other first round Tribe Invitational match, No. 60 Clemson defeated Elon, 5-2, in an extremely competitive match. The Tigers took the doubles point with a tiebreaker win at the No. 2 positions, before winning all four of their singles points in three-set matches.
W&M returns to action in the championship match of the Tribe Invitational when it battles No. 60 Clemson on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 4:30 p.m. The consolation match of the Invite will pit BYU against Elon at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday as well.