The two teams battled each other earlier this season for the ITA Kickoff Weekend event in Columbus, Ohio on Jan. 26. The hard-fought match ended in a 4-3 victory for the Canes, as they advanced to the tournament's championship match against No. 4 Ohio State.
In the Jan. 26 match, Louisiana-Lafayette took the doubles point behind strong play from the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles positions. Wilfredo Gonzalez and Marco Stancati battled hard at first doubles but fell short to Rick de Groot and Jake Wynan, 8-5. The Ragin' Cajuns clinched the doubles point after Jarred Wynan and Edgar Lopez downed Omar Aly and William Albanese on court two, 8-3.
Since then, head coach Mario Rincon has paired Gabriel Flores with Omar Aly at No. 2 doubles, and the tandem has marked a 2-0 record with an 8-4 win over UCF and an 8-3 victory over then-No. 50 Rice.
Singles matches between Miami and Louisiana-Lafayette were highly competitive, as four out of the six matches were decided in a tiebreaker, three of which were won by the Canes.
Newcomer William Albanese set the tone for the Canes after he downed Damian Farinola in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5, to tie the match at 1-1. Following up was Diego Soto at No. 1 singles, as he outlasted Rick de Groot (6-1, 1-6, 6-3). On court three, Gabriel Flores battled to a 7-6 victory in the first set, then lost 1-6 in second, before bouncing back to a 6-4 tiebreaking win.
Securing the victory for the Canes was sophomore Wilfredo Gonzalez at No. 2 singles. The Guatemala City native was downed in the first set, 7-6, but battled back to win the match against Jared Wynan in the final two sets, 6-2, 6-4.
The Hurricanes, winners of two straight at home, bring a 4-2 record to the match on Friday. Louisiana-Lafayette is currently 2-2 on the spring season.
For more information on the University of Miami men's tennis team, log on to HurricaneSports.com. To follow the UM men's tennis team socially, visit Twitter.com/CanesMensTennis and Facebook at /MiamiHurricanesMensTennis.