__TRIBE 2, VCU 5__
p. The 57th-ranked Tribe dropped its first CAA match of the season to no. 29 Virginia Commonwealth University Friday in Richmond.
p. Although the College opened the match by capturing the doubles point, it could not hold off the Rams in singles play as VCU won 5-2. The loss drops the Tribe’s record to 12-10 on the season, while the Rams improved to 13-6.
p. In doubles play, senior Alex Cojanu and junior Dominic Pagon won their second straight match over a nationally ranked opponent, defeating VCU’s no. 51 doubles team of Sebastien Ripoll and Emil Lindgren by a score of 8-6. In addition to Cojanu and Pagon’s win, senior Kavi Sud and freshman Sebastian Vidal were victorious, winning 8-5 and earning their seventh wins in the last eight matches.
p. Following the doubles matches, VCU took a 3-1 lead with three straight-set wins. With only three singles matches remaining, the College faced an uphill road to earning a victory. Cojanu provided the Tribe’s only singles win. After dropping the first set 6-4, he won the second and third sets, 6-3 and 6-0, to take out the Rams’ Thibaut Charron.
p. “Alex played a gutsy match, fighting back from the edge of defeat in singles, and playing his best tennis match of the year in his volley and return game for our doubles victory over a nationally ranked team,” Head Coach Peter Daub said.
p. Two of the Tribe’s singles losses came in three-set matches as VCU’s Alex Israel and Sebastian Ripoll denied rallies from the College, each taking the third sets of their respective matches, 6-3.
“It was a tough loss against VCU, but all of us fought very hard. They ended up being better than us on Friday,” Cojanu said. “Now we’re looking forward to our last four matches of the regular season. We do expect to play VCU again during the CAA Tournament in mid-April, which will again be a dogfight.”
The Tribe will look to rebound after the loss to the Rams and get back on the winning track when it travels to South Bend, Ind. this weekend for two non-conference matches. The College will square off against Western Michigan University Friday and follow up with a match against no. 27 Notre Dame University Sunday.