The Ragin’ Cajuns men’s tennis team competed in their first two Sun Belt away games over the weekend.
On Friday, March 29, the Ragin’ Cajuns faced Appalachian State in North Carolina. The game resulted in a 3-4 loss.
To start off, Louisiana forfeited the No. 3 doubles match, therefore Appalachian State received double points at No. 1 when junior Pearse Dolan and senior Arthur Libaud lost 6-3. This loss meant Louisiana entered singles play down 1-0.
The leg up Appalachian State had on the Ragin’ Cajuns didn’t last long.
For singles play, Louisiana started off with three wins in straight sets. The wins were led by freshmen Jan Galka, Kacper Dworak and Dolan. This was Galka’s third-straight singles win.
These wins put Louisiana in perfect position for a comeback, however, they were unable to secure the win.
The No. 6 deciding match was between Louisiana’s freshman Pierce Gilheany and Appalachian State’s Campbell Stone. Gilheany fell in straight sets, giving Appalachian State the 4-3 victory.
Following the loss on Friday, Louisiana hoped to earn a road victory on Sunday. On Sunday, March 31, the Ragin’ Cajuns played Coastal Carolina in South Carolina.
Opposite of the game on Friday, Louisiana won this game, 4-3. With this win, Louisiana earned their 20th of the season.
Louisiana won the match due to a pair of doubles wins, which earned double points, along with three wins in singles.
In singles play, Dolan, junior Elio Lago and junior Jamie Fraser garnered wins to help secure Louisiana’s victory.
In Dolan’s case, he had to battle a comeback from Coastal Carolina’s Zak Talic to win in a three-set thriller. Fraser also shut down a Coastal Carolina comeback.
On the other hand, Lago was Louisiana’s only player to get a straight-set win in singles. The three wins in singles play were equal with Coastal Carolina’s three wins, so the score was tied 3-3 before doubles play was underway.
Senior Arthur Libaud, along with Dolan got a win in doubles. The junior duo of Fraser and Lago earned a win as well, letting Louisiana come away with a well earned 4-3 victory.
Although tennis can be an individual sport with singles play, it is also very much so a team sport with doubles matches. In Feb., Lago explained the team bond this season.
“I think the guys this year, we’re more together,” Lago said. “We’re more connected. So every time we go on court to play against another team, we’re just fighting together,”
So far, the team has an impressive overall record at 20-7. Louisiana recently started Sun Belt Conference play on March 22, with an even conference record at 2-2.
Louisiana’s next set of Sun Belt Conference games will be at home. They will play South Alabama, Friday, April 5 at 4 p.m. Following that matchup, Louisiana will face Troy, Sunday, April 7 at 10 a.m.
The Troy game will be the second to last game before the Sun Belt Conference Championship Tournament. The tournament will start Friday, April 19 in Peachtree City, Georgia.