Valdosta, GA - The match Valdosta State and its fans had been waiting for since falling in 2010’s NCAA National Championship finally took place Friday. After falling to Barry, 5-4, in the National Championship, the Valdosta State men move to 6-0 with a strong showing Friday to secure a 7-2 victory and hand Barry its first loss of the season. The women struggled in a 9-0 loss to Barry.
After doubles play, the men held a 2-1 advantage. Daniel Dueren and Christian Hansen, ranked second nationally, defeated Max Wimmer and Quentin Vachez, 8-4. In the second doubles slot, No. 3 Philip Pakebusch and Luis Loeffler beat Emanuel Fraitzl and Marco Mokrzycki by the same score. The only VSU doubles team to lose was No. 39 Konstantin Kutschenko and Otto Lenhart, falling, 8-5, to Sergio Velez and Ollie Lemaitre.
While the 2-1 lead was an advantage, it certainly did not mean the match was over. Barry came back from a 4-1 deficit the last time these teams met. This time, however, VSU’s singles would hold strong.
No. 22 Loeffler was the first to finish with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Sergio Velez. No. 25 Hansen was done shortly after with a 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 11 Mokrzycki.
With a 4-1 advantage, it was up to either Dueren or Pakebusch to clinch the final point. Pakebusch would be the one to do it as he beat No. 1 Emanuel Fraitzl, 6-4, 6-4. Dueren, meanwhile, suffered a loss in the second set, but responded with a blitzkrieg too much for No. 26 Wimmer. Dueren won Valdosta State’s sixth point with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 victory.
Kutschenko and Bernhard Wallner split the final two points for VSU. Kutschenko won, 6-1, 6-3, while Wallner fell, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 10-8.
The VSU women faced the No. 4 doubles team and the Nos. 14 and 23 singles players in the nation. The undefeated Barry team proved too much for Valdosta State.
Sarah Braun and Alina Nagel fell to No. 4 Barbi Pocza and Angie Werschel, 8-4. Nicole Hernandez and Jessica Tuggle, playing in the second slot, lost to Alex Gwizdoski and Laura Boguet, 8-1. In the third spot, Julie Stas and Olivia Matuszak beat Leslie Roberge and Jahyna Pope, 8-0.
No. 14 Pocza put on a strong performance against Braun, winning in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0. Gwizdoski did the same against Tuggle in the fourth spot. Hernandez was the next to drop, 6-1, 6-1, at the hands of Akemi Maehama.
Nagel took two games from No. 23 Werschel, but it would not be enough as she fell, 6-2, 6-0. In the fifth and sixth spots, Roberge lost, 6-0, 6-1, while Pope fell, 6-1, 6-0.
Valdosta State tennis returns to action Sunday at 10 a.m. for the teams’ second conference match. They will face West Florida.