Men’s Tennis: Tribe downs Howard, falls to Southern Alabama

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April 15, 2008

2:50 AM

**Tribe 7, Howard 0**

The no. 57 Tribe (14-12, 4-1 CAA) rounded out Senior Day with an even slate, going 1-1 in a rare two-match performance. The College outperformed Howard University 7-0 but fell in its initial showing against no. 65 Southern Alabama University 4-1 at Busch Courts Friday.

“We controlled our own destiny [against Howard],” Head Coach Peter Daub said. “We were better than them. We were solid and did the simple things right, and that is what wins tennis matches.”

The seniors led the way for the College as Alex Cojanu and Kavi Sud walked away with doubles and singles victories against Howard. Cojanu and junior Dominic Pagon, the reigning CAA doubles team of the week, cruised to an 8-1 doubles victory while Sud and freshman Ben Gullickson duplicated thier teammate’s effort, earning an 8-1 triumph in their doubles showing as well.

“Kavi did a nice job,” Daub said. “He came out with energy [in both matches] and fought hard. He is a great athlete and has a great passion, which were all on display today.”

The Tribe took all of the singles matches in straight sets as junior Marwan Ramadan earned his team-leading 21st singles victory, thanks to his overpowering forehand against the Bisons’ Neilhab Avasthi. Cojanu nabbed his 76th collegiate victory, while Sud closed his opponent out, winning his 41st singles match at the College on the duo’s final home meet.

**Tribe 1, Southern Alabama 4**

The Tribe did not fair as well in its opening showing, however, dropping its match against Southern Alabama 4-1.
“Southern Alabama is strong at the top,” Daub said. “We had our chances but did not get the final point in doubles, which is what did us in.”

After Ramadan and sophomore Keizel Juneau won their doubles match 8-2 for the Tribe, the College’s other two doubles duos could not manage victories. Cojanu and Pagon were defeated 8-4 in their match, while Sud and freshman Sebastien Vidal fell 9-8 in their match.

“[Vidal and Sud] played hard,” Daub said. “I thought they played a good match. We had our opportunities, but we did not capitalize.”

Vidal served strong for the College, putting the tandem up 7-6 before nearly breaking the Panthers in the 14th game. Yet after going up 0-30, they fell in the third deuce as the Panthers mounted a comeback, taking the lead and earning the coveted doubles point.

The College struggled in its singles contests as the lone victory game off the racket of Sud. The senior won easily in a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Michael O’Brien of the Panthers.

“I stuck to my game plan and executed the way I wanted to,” Sud said. “I was upset about the doubles match, but I got off to a good start on both sets and didn’t let up.”

The rest of the Tribe did not fare as well, with no. 1 Cojanu, no. 2 Ramadan and no. 3 Pagon not managing any set victories between them.

The Tribe returns to the courts April 18 in Newport News for the CAA Championships.

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