Last weekend, men’s tennis celebrated the program’s first sole Southland Conference regular-season title and won their 20th straight match on Saturday, their first 20-win season since 2012.
Wildcats defeated Incarnate Word Friday with a close match, winning 4-3. Junior Jonathan Sheehy won his three-set comeback at over Evans, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. He also had a 6-4 win over Boisseau and Valentinsson with his doubles partner Junior Nikolas Moceanu. Junior Jackson Fine and Senior Cole Lawson beat Evans and Mortier to also win 6-4.
Fine and Lawson have won their last three matches together, finishing 3-0 versus Southland opponents. Moceanu and Jonathan Sheehy have only been paired up three times this spring and have a 2-1 record together on the season.
For singles, the Cardinals never took the lead on the Wildcats. The visitors tied the score to 1-1 when Dryer dispatched freshman Akinori Wada in straight sets at 6-2, 6-2. However the Wildcats immediately regained the lead, to 2-1, after senior Josh Sheehy won his 16th match by taking down Mortier, 6-3, 6-4.
Mocaenu provided the Wildcats with a 3-1 lead after coming from a set down to beat Boisseau, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 for win No. 12.
Freshman Riley Tran gave it a go, tying his match at one set apiece with a 6-2 second-set win, but then fell 6-1 in the third set to Valentinsson. Freshman Dimitris Azoides won his first set vs. Bendana, 7-5, but dropped his second set as Jonathan Sheehy was beginning his third vs. Evans. The Evans and Sheehy set went back-and-forth through the first six points, but Sheehy improved as the match went on. Jon’s victory was the 12th of the season and third vs. Southland opponents.
The men won their 20th match of the season Saturday with a 4-3 victory over UTSA. Freshman Azoides scored the match-winning point at singles, coming back from a set down to defeat Reckow, 5-7,7-5, 6-4.
The last time the Wildcats earned a 20-win campaign was their first since 2012, when they posted 21-9 en route to reaching the NCAA DII quarterfinals.
Fine and Lawson were 6-1 winner for their ninth win of the Spring after Saturday, but Josh and Jon Sheehy lost 6-4 and Tran and Moceanu were edged 7-6 by Gonzalez and Sanson at No. 3.
Josh Sheehy said it’s a little different playing with Mocaenu than with his brother, Jon Sheehy.
“Niko and I are good at pumping each other up and our games compliment each other well.” Sheehy said, “On the other hand, my brother and I have a lot of experience together and really know how to bring out the best in each other’s games and play some incredible doubles.”
ACU got back into the lead after three-consecutive wins at the top three positions. Jonathan Sheehy defeated Ceolin 7-6, 6-3. Later, brother Josh rallied to beat Breitbach, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, for his six-consecutive victory for a 14-4 overall.
Moceanu was involved in another three-set battle, his 10th of the spring, but came out on top for his 13th victory. His record in three-set matches is a solid 7-3.
UTSA tied the score once more, following its straight-set wins, but Azoides was able to halt his three-match losing streak by holding off Reckow in their third set. He is second to Josh Sheehy on the team with 16 singles victories.
The Wildcats return to action on Tuesday with a 5 p.m. match vs. their old Div. II Lone Star Conference rivals from Midwestern State.