NORFOLK, Va. – Flavian Fernandez earned his team-leading fourth victory of the season as Norfolk State opened MEAC play with a hotly-contested 5-2 victory over Howard for its first win of the season on Sunday afternoon at the Norfolk State Tennis Complex.
The Bison (0-11, 0-2 MEAC) earned the first point of the match, taking two of the three doubles matches before the Spartans (1-6, 1-0 MEAC) captured five of the singles points, including the first four.
Howard’s top pair of Ismael Kaouache and William Jones cruised to a 6-0 victory over Norfolk State’s Andres Alcaraz and Vini Da Silva, which was the most lopsided match of the day. Fernandez and Agustin Carrizo responded for the Spartans with a 7-6 (7-3) victory over Cole Gittens and Spencer Kelly at the No. 2 doubles position, but Karim Shokeir and Sagar Raju secured the doubles point for the Bison with a 6-3 victory over Dan Dumitrascu and Ignacio Guevel at the No. 3.
Once singles play began, Norfolk State took control by winning the next four points.
Playing at the No. 3, Dumitrascu earned a straight-set victory over Shokeir, 6-4, 6-2, evening the team match at one point a piece.
Alcaraz and Da Silva survived three-set tie-breaks at the Nos. 1 and 2 positions, respectively, giving the Spartans a commanding 3-1 lead.
Da Silva claimed the first set 6-3, before Jones battled back to take the second set by a score of 6-4. Da Silva broke Jones’ serve several times in the final set, earning a 6-3 victory to take the set. Alcaraz claimed his biggest victory in his young career with an exciting three-set thrilling victory over Kaouache, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.
Fernandez cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 straight-set victory over Howard’s Spencer at the No. 4, clinching the match for Norfolk State.
With the team victory in hand, Carrizo and Guevel played their matches to completion at the Nos. 5 and 6 positions, respectively.
Guevel secured the fifth consecutive victory for the Spartans with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Sagar, while Carrizo lost an epic three-set tie-breaker to Gittens, 6-7, 6-4, 0-1 (8-10).
Norfolk State will face Hampton in the Battle of the Bay on Friday at the Neilson-Screen Tennis Stadium at 1 p.m.
Originally published at nsuspartans.com