The 73rd-ranked College of William and Mary (13-13) crumbled under 54th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth University squad (12-8), falling 5-2 Wednesday at the McCormack Nagelson Tennis Center.
The Tribe’s lack of depth proved fatal against a powerful Rams line-up as junior Keziel Juneau and sophomore Sebastian Vidal provided the Tribe’s only wins in doubles and singles matches.
“I thought we needed to get them down below in the lower spots, but they were just too deep for us,” commented Head Coach Peter Daub.
Juneau and Vidal would provide the only glimmer of light for the College as they upset a no. 72 ranked VCU duo in the no. 1 doubles match. The pair matched up perfectly as Juneau’s powerful serve allowed Vidal to utilize his talented net game. The team was able to pick up a crucial break, winning four straight points to take a 3-2 lead before holding on for an 8-6 win. Juneau and Vidal raised their record to 17-12 on the season following the victory.
Senior Dominic Pagon and sophomore Varun Pandit battled out a back-and-forth match in the no. 2 slot before falling 8-6 after an inopportune break late in the set. Senior Marwan Ramadan and junior Richard Wardell suffered a similar fate. The no. 3 tandem was able to break VCU’s serve to take a 7-6 advantage, relying on their intensity and hustle, but the lead was short-lived as they proceeded to drop the next three games to lose 9-7.
The premier singles matchup belonged to No. 111 ranked Juneau who outmatched VCU’s Thibaut Charron 6-4, 7-6 with a 7-1 tiebreaker win. The spirited junior broke Charron’s serve late in the first set to gain the early edge. In the second set, Juneau employed an impressive serve-and-volley game, flustering his opponent and forcing a break at 5-4. But Charron would answer back to break serve and tie the match at 6-6. In the tiebreaker, Juneau picked up the intensity to cruise to a 7-1 victory, giving him a 21-12 record this season.
“I knew I just needed to keep the ball in play,” Juneau said. “All I needed was a crack, and I was able to find a few openings in both sets.”
The remaining singles matches were far less contested as VCU blew through the no. 2, 4, 5 and 6 spots in straight sets. However, Vidal was able to pick up an unorthodox victory in the third position after a forfeit. The Guatemalan sensation got off to a slow start, losing the first set 4-6. Down 3-0 in the second, he showed excellent ball control, picking up a number of well-placed winners to pull even at 3-3, before his opponent had to give up the match with an ankle injury.