CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson men’s tennis team improved to 7-0 overall on Sunday afternoon with wins over Michigan State and Presbyterian College. The Spartans and the Blue Hose both fell to 2-3 overall. In the morning match Clemson defeated Michigan State 4-3, and in the nightcap, The Tigers took down the Blue Hose, 4-0.
In the morning match, Michigan State took the hard-fought doubles point against the Tigers when courts one and two came down to a tiebreak. Daffra Sanon and Christian Harris were the first to finish when they were victorious at No. 3, 6-4. The Spartans would then take No. 1, 7-6(5) than No. 2 by a score 7-6(4) to clinch the doubles point. It was the first time this season the Tigers didn’t clinch the doubles point.
In singles play against the Spartans seniors Robert Dudley, and Daffra Sanon gave the Tigers a 2-1 advantage winning their matches in two sets. Dudley defeated Koenen of Michigan State, (7-6(8), 6-3) to level the score at one. Sanon won 6-3 in the first set before winning in a back and forth tiebreaker 11-9 in the second set to give the Tigers the first lead of the day. Junior Sam Edwards brought the Tigers within one point of clinching after his (6-4, 5-7, 6-0) victory at No. 4. Freshman Carlos Kelaidis once again came up clutch when he clinched the match at No. 6, (7-5, 6-2). The Spartans would pull back a point after a third set super tiebreak at No. 5, bringing the final score to 4-3 and the Tigers improved to 6-0 overall.
In the Presbyterian match, Clemson bounced back in doubles after failing to get the point against Michigan State. Presbyterian was victorious at No. 1 with a strong performance and a 6-1 win over the Tigers. Seniors Brent Lett and Arturo Pinazo were called into action for the second match and did not disappoint winning 6-3 at No. 3. The point came down to Sanon and Edwards at No. 1 where they clinched the point with a 7-6(4) win over Kelly and Roberts of Presbyterian.
In singles play Sanon continued his strong play and improved to 6-1 overall with a (6-4, 6-3) rout at No. 1 and gave the Tigers a two-point lead. Brent Lett finished shortly after, (6-4, 6-4) at No. 5, bringing Clemson within one of clinching against Presbyterian.
“I like how the team responded after doubles against Michigan State. The guys showed their toughness again today in both matches, and I am proud of all of them. Dudley showed a lot of heart coming back to close out Presbyterian,” said Head Coach John Boetsch. “We appreciate the fan support we had today; it made for a great atmosphere for the guys to play in.”
Clemson returns to the courts on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 1 p.m. against Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Clemson 4, Michigan State 3
Order of finish: 3,2,4,1,6*,5
Order of finish: 3,1,2
Clemson 4, Presbyterian 0
Order of finish: 1,5,2*
Order of finish: 2,3,1
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