Nicolas Roh/HIGHLANDER

After practically getting swept in final season’s matchup, the UC Riverside males’s tennis group (3-2) issued payback in opposition to Air Drive (3-1) this time round, outlasting the academy with a closing rating of 4-Three at residence.

Regardless of UCR doubles holding a number of match factors all through, the Falcons ran away with the primary level of the afternoon by sweeping all three of Riverside’s doubles groups. This meant that if the Highlanders needed to stroll away with a win for the general match, they’d have to report 4 singles wins — and so they did simply that.

“It’s fairly massive for our program,” coach Mattias Johansson mentioned on Friday night, “Realizing that we might compete with one other fairly good Division One program — it offers lots of [our] guys confidence.”

And from the appears to be like of it, the group didn’t relinquish any confidence in any respect. Junior Gilbert Chung took care of enterprise on the quantity 4 singles slot, successful in straight units 6-1, 6-1 over the Falcons’ Tadhg Collins.

With the house group trailing 3-1 total, freshman Andreas Whelan-Merediz outlasted Mack Galvin on court docket six with a closing set rating of 6-3, 6-4. The freshman’s second profession singles win got here at a vital time, reducing the Air Drive result in 3-2.

This left the strain to relaxation on the shoulders of the Highlanders’ captains on the primary and two singles place. Courtroom one had senior Kyle McCann face off in opposition to Air Drive’s Patrick Sklenka, the place the 2 duked it out within the opening set, with McCann successful 7-6 (7-4) within the tiebreak. A single break of serve determined the distinction, because the senior closed out 6-Three within the second.

McCann’s win tied the general rating at 3-3, and with the solar happening and the wind selecting up, all eyes set on junior Nabil Abdallah’s court docket to shut out the win. Abdallah broke Luke Sanderson’s serve as soon as within the first set, successful 6-4. Sanderson then got here roaring again within the second to drive a tiebreak, edging the Highlander 7-6 (7-4) to drive a 3rd and closing set. One other break of serve put Abdallah up 3-Zero within the closing set, however Sanderson broke again and trailed solely 4-3. After splitting the subsequent two video games to maneuver the rating to 5-4, Abdallah’s passing pictures would seal the deal, because the junior received the final set 6-4.

The Highlanders stormed the court docket to rejoice with Abdallah, who picked up the group’s solely win of their earlier matchup in opposition to the Air Drive final season, the place the Highlanders fell 6-1.

That is the group’s final residence match for about one other month and a half, the place they embark on a highway journey to Utah and Nevada that has them play 5 matches in 4 days.

If we are able to survive these upcoming away matches, it’ll construct lots of confidence. This journey is massive for us — if we are able to sneak out a pair of wins throughout this Vegas journey, then it’ll be incredible contemplating the place we actually need to get going for the remainder of the season, coach Johansson mentioned.

Males’s tennis faces off at Southern Utah on Thursday, Jan. 31.

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