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Feb. 7, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Playing at the furthest point North in program history, the USC Upstate men's tennis team split a pair of matches on Saturday at Yale University's brand-new Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, falling to Yale, 5-2, in a tight morning match before dominating 2008 America East semifinalist Stony Brook, 6-0, in the evening.
Upstate (3-2 overall) finished the day by dominating Stony Brook (2-1 overall), with junior Renzo Airaldi pacing the team with a huge straight-sets win at No. 1 singles, as he beat the Northeast Region's 11th-ranked Ivan Rummel, 6-4, 6-0. Freshman Ramiro Blanco added a 6-1, 6-2 win over Mitch Wong at No. 6 singles and junior Jack Roux added a 7-6 (3), 6-3 win over Ilan Schvartz at No. 3 singles to give Upstate a 3-0 lead.
The rest of the Spartan lineup won in three-set matches, helping ease the pain of three three-set losses to Yale to start the day. Junior Javier Tori posted a 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, come-from-behind win at No. 4 to clinch the match and junior Arnaldo Lovera added a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win over Youssef Fassi-Fehri at No. 5 singles. Freshman Edgar Rodriguez wrapped up the win with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (6) win over Halvar Dil at No. 2.
Yale posted three three-set wins to sneak away with a 5-2 win against the Spartans, who won the doubles point to take an early lead.
The Spartans won two of three doubles matches to take the early 1-0 lead, with juniors Javier Tori and Renzo Airaldi posting an 8-5 win at No. 2 against Jeff Dawson and Erik Blumenkranz and freshman Edgar Rodriguez and junior Jack Roux adding an 8-6 win over Josh Lederman and Joel Samaha at No. 3.
Yale took a 2-1 lead thanks to wins at No. 1 and No. 5 singles but a win at No. 6 singles by freshman Ramiro Blanco, 7-5, 7-6, over Matthew Schimmel tied the match at two, leaving it in the hands of the final three matches, which all headed into a deciding third set. The Bulldogs (1-0 overall) prevailed in each, with Samaha downing Tori at No. 4, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, Calvin Bennett beating junior Jack Roux, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 3 and Michael Caldwell defeating Rodriguez, 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 at No. 2 singles.
Upstate will wrap up its play at Yale, playing Georgetown at 10 a.m. on Sunday at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center.