Firebirds Edge Merrimack, 5-4 Indoors in Spring Opener

Alexis Baguelin battled to win his No. 3 singles match, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.
Alexis Baguelin battled to win his No. 3 singles match, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia men's tennis team earned a narrow, 5-4 victory over NCAA Division II East Region foe Merrimack College in its spring season opener Thursday afternoon at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center.

 

The Firebirds (1-2) earned their first victory of the 2016-17 season by winning four of six singles matches and one of three doubles matches. UDC, which lost its only other meeting vs. Merrimack on March 15th, 2015, evens the all-time series with the Warriors at 1-1.

 

Merrimack, a member of the Northeast-10 Conference and winners of its last two matches, fell to 2-2 overall this season.

 

UDC dropped the first two completed doubles matches at No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, but the Firebirds' No. 2 pair of juniors Alexis Baguelin and Ander Murillo earned an 8-5 win to salvage one point for UDC.

 

Freshman Josip Marinic, making his collegiate debut today, evened the overall score at 2-all when he cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 6 singles vs. Alex Slobin. Then, following a UDC loss at No. 4, junior Marco Feligioni bounced back from a 6-3 first set loss to blow by Tayyab Sheikh, 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 at No. 5. Likewise, junior Diego Pinto shook off a 6-0 first set loss to Frank Vega to soar to a 0-6, 6-4, 6-0 win at No. 2 to give UDC its first lead, 4-3.

 

The Firebirds sealed the victory with Baguelin's 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 win over Nick Majewski at No. 3.

 

Junior Rok Bozic and Murillo both battled in their respective No. 1 and No. 4 singles matches, but both were defeated. Bozic won his first set, 6-4, but ultimately was bested by Mikhail Belov, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Murillo was defeated by Alex Fedorov, 7-5, 6-1.

 

UDC is back in action March 24th on the road vs. ECC foe Daemen College.