CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The No. 72 University of Miami men’s tennis team defeated No. 31 NC State 4-3 Sunday afternoon at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
“What a great victory for us,” said head coach Mario Rincon. “NC State is a really good team, but we got momentum in the middle of the singles matches and secured the win.”
The win marks the third-straight victory over a Top 60 team and second-straight over a Top 35 squad.
It also marks the first time the Hurricanes have defeated two-straight Top 35 ranked teams since March 20 and 22, 2009. The then-No. 45 Hurricanes downed No. 34 North Carolina 4-3 and No. 28 Duke 4-3 - both on the road.
“I am so proud of the team, their hearts, and all their work,” said Rincon. “I am so happy for our program. This is really big for us.”
In an exciting third-set battle with both teams lining the courts and cheering, Diego Soto defeated Sean Weber 6-1 to give the Hurricanes the 4-3 win. In the match, each player had taken a previous set victory, but Soto took home the point for the Hurricanes 7-6 (11-9), 3-6, 6-1.
The Hurricanes opened the day by winning one of the two doubles matches, losing the doubles point to the Wolfpack. Senior duo Gabriel Flores and Soto defeated No. 27 Sean Weber and Nick Horton 8-6. Omar Aly and Wilfredo Gonzalez put up a good fight but were overcome by Ian Dempster and Robbie Mudge 8-5. William Albanese and Henrique Tsukamoto won three of the final four games in their match, but it was not enough; they were defeated by Austin Powell and Thomas Weigel 8-5.
After coming up short in its first two singles matches, Miami won the last four singles matches of the day to come from behind and earn the victory.
Flores gave the Canes their first point of the match when he defeated No. 98 Robbie Mudge 7-5, 6-4. Tsukamoto pulled a win for the Canes from the sixth position when he overcame Parker McGuiness 6-2, 7-5. Gonzalez defeated Thomas Weigel 7-6 (9-7), 6-1 to tie the match at three-all, then Soto won his match to give Miami the ACC home victory.
The Hurricanes will play their last nonconference matches as a doubleheader Tuesday against Nebraska-Omaha at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
#72 Miami 4, #31 NC State 3
1. No. 41 Austin Powell (NCS) def. Omar Aly (UM), 6-2, 6-3
2. Gabriel Flores (UM) def. No. 98 Robbie Mudge (NCS) 7-5, 6-4
3. Diego Soto (UM) def. Sean Weber (NCS) 7-6 (11-9), 3-6, 6-1
4. Wilfredo Gonzalez (UM) def. Thomas Weigel (NCS) 7-6 (9-7), 6-1
5. Simon Norenius (NCS) def. William Albanese (UM) 6-2, 6-1
6. Henrique Tsukamoto (UM) def. Parker McGuiness (NCS) 6-2, 7-5
1. Ian Dempster/Robbie Mudge (NCS) def. Omar Aly/Wilfredo Gonzalez (UM) 8-5
2. Gabriel Flores/Diego Soto (UM) def. No. 27 Sean Weber/Nick Horton (NCS) 8-6
3. Austin Powell/Thomas Weigel (NCS) def. William Albanese/Henrique Tsukamoto (UM) 8-5
NC State 11-6
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 1, 3); Singles (5, 1, 2, 6, 4, 3)