Lamar falls 4-1 in SLC men's tennis final

CORPUS CHRISTI (Lamar Athletics)- Facing the daunting task of attempting to unseat six-time defending Southland Conference champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the Lamar men's tennis team showed the kind of fight that led them to their first ever Southland Championship match, but it ultimately wouldn't prove enough as the Cardinals fell 4-1 to the host Islanders at Thomas J. Henry Tennis Center.

As has been the case all season for the Red and White, the doubles round was once again a major factor. The Islander duo of Peter Nagy and Guillaume Rauseo came out of the gates strong, beating Jeandre Hoogenboezem and Juuso Laitinen in 8-2 fashion on Court 1. However, Trey Crysel and Michael Feucht put the team back on level terms with an 8-4 victory over Ricardo Mayagoitia and Javier Pujol at No. 3.

All attention would then turn to Court 2, where LU's Nikita Lis and Mikko Rajamaki were battling it out with Matt Westmoreland and Paul Cook. The Card duo battled back from an early 3-1 hole to take a 7-5 lead, but TAMUCC was equally strong-willed, forcing a tie-break and going on to win 8-7 (7-3).

The Cards attempted to regroup in doubles, but were dealt the first blow as Laitinen lost 6-4, 6-3 to Pujol at the third spot. However, Lis got things back on track with an impressive 6-4, 6-2 win over Mayagoitia at line two, but the momentum was short-lived as Michael Feucht fell 6-2, 6-3 to Southland Player of the Year Nagy at No. 1 to put the Islanders within a point of clinching.

Westmoreland appeared to be in good shape for TAMUCC on Court 4 vs. Carl-Philip Lindqvist, but the Swedish sophomore wouldn't go easily. Lindqvist dropped the opening set 6-1 and was trailing 5-1 in the second before he put together an ultimately fruitless comeback to fall 6-3 and seal a second straight Islander Southland Tournament crown.

On the other singles courts, Rauseo and Hoogenboezem each won a set in 6-4 fashion at No. 5 and the duo was tied at 3-3 when play was halted. In the final spot on the line-up, both Paul Cook and Mikko Rajamaki took home a 6-3 set.

LU finished the season with a 14-13 record, the most wins for the program since the retirement of all-time winningest coach Ron Wesbrooks in 1987. The tournament runner-up finish is the best-ever for the Cards since 1995, the first year the league utilized the dual play format.



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