USM tops UTSA in convincing fashion

Senior Paulo Alvarado returns a rally to the player from UTSA at the match Saturday afternoon. Jessica King / Printz
Senior Paulo Alvarado returns a rally to the player from UTSA at the match Saturday afternoon.
Jessica King / Printz

Southern Miss men’s tennis team continued its winning ways Friday as they beat The University of Texas at San Antonio 4-2 behind strong performances from their doubles matches.

Senior Paulo Alvarado played a dominant role in USM’s victory. Alvarado won both his matches 6-4 and 7-5 over Yannick Junger. USM is now 11-9 as the season is coming to an end.

Numbers three and two is where the Golden Eagles took the first point of the match in doubles wins. At the number-three spot Alex Doleac and teammate Grigory Trotsenho beat UTSA Roadrunners Diogo Casa and Fabian Brand 8-3, their best victory of the season.

USM secured another point when teammates Chao-Yu Huang and Vasco Valverde doubled up on Yannick Junger and Boburjon Kamilijanov with an 8-4 victory.

UTSA had a pair of teammates that were ranked No. 47 in the nation in Tomas Stillman and Joel Rubio. Alvarado and teammate Juan Escobar had the nationally ranked duo rattled, as they were up 7-5 when the match was called. Southern Miss dominated in doubles and the success continued in singles.

Huang started off the single action against Kolby Kilgo and won posting scores of 6-0 and 6-1. Huang’s victories gave the Golden Eagles a 2-0 lead overall. It would not take long for USM to get their third point of the day, as Valverde beat Rubio 6-2 and 6-4.

UTSA would bounce back and cut the lead to one when Casa ousted Escobar 6-4 and 6-0. Stillman defeated Doleac with 6-1 and 6-3 victories. USM needed just one more point to reach game point.

It was down to two people to secure the victory, Alvarado and Trotsenko. It did not look like USM would reach the game point as Trotsenko lost his first set 6-3, but came back strong in the second set with a 7-6 win. Alvarado won his first set, but had to come from behind in his second set in order to win the match.

Alvarado trailed 5-4 and knew he needed to come back for his team. He got refocused and beat Junger 7-5 in true comeback fashion and gave USM the 4-2 victory.

Southern Miss will finish their season against Louisiana-Lafayette with their three seniors getting honored before the match.