Tigers Advance to NCAA Sweet 16 with Win Over Tulane
BATON ROUGE — The LSU men’s tennis team is headed to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2001 after beating Tulane, 4-1, in the second round match Saturday.
Junior Mark Growcott clinched the match for the 10th-ranked Tigers (21-8, 5-6) with a three-set win on court on over Tulane’s Dmitry Koch.
“Going into the match, Mark had been struggling,” Brown said. “He lost to the same player in straight sets the last time we played Tulane. For him to hang in there was nothing less than huge.”
No. 11-seed LSU has not been to the Sweet Sixteen with any members of the current squad. But the Tigers’ 21st victory gives them the second-highest win total of any team head coach Jeff Brown has coached in his eight seasons here.
“It’s special for the two seniors,” Brown said. “I was hoping they wouldn’t be the only group never to have gone that far.”
Doubles was a strong point again for LSU as the Tigers captured the first point for the 14th consecutive match.
LSU’s Ken Skupski and Growcott avenged an earlier loss this season to 27th-ranked Koch and Albert Sottocorno. No. 6-ranked Skupski and Growcott clinched the point for LSU with an 8-6 win on court one.
With the win, Skupski and Growcott are 30-8 on the season. With their next victory they can tie for the all-time LSU record for doubles wins in a season.
Gaston put the Tigers up 2-0 with his 6-3, 6-2 win on court six over Jonah Kane-West.
Angelinos gave Tulane its first team point when he beat Peter Richman, 6-4, 6-3 on court four. Richman’s loss broke the six match winning streak he brought to the tournament.?
Skupski took three sets to beat David Goulet on court two, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
Growcott broke Koch’s serve after a long match point to win, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 to clinch the match for LSU.
“It obviously took a total team effort to find our four points,” Brown said. “Tulane fought like crazy. I give them credit considering how hard they played yesterday.
Tulane got to the second round by beating Louisiana-Lafayette, 4-3 on Friday. LSU beat Binghamton, 4-0 earlier that day.
It was the Tigers’ second win of the season over rival Tulane. They beat the Green Wave, 6-1 in April and will end the season with a perfect record against in-state opponents.
LSU will face the winner of the regional hosted by Georgia. Georgia is the top seed in that regional, but they will not play the second round until Sunday.
Tennis Match Results
Tulane vs LSU
May 14, 2005 at Baton Rouge, La.
#10 LSU 5, #20 Tulane 1
1. #79 Mark Growcott (LSU) def. Dmitriy Koch (TUL) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
2. #36 Ken Skupski (LSU) def. David Goulet (TUL) 6-4, 1-6, 7-5
3. Jason Hazley (LSU) def. Jacobo Hernandez (TUL) 7-6, 3-3
4. Ted Angelinos (TUL) def. Peter Richman (LSU) 6-4, 6-3
5. Alberto Sottocorno (TUL) vs. Danny Bryan (LSU) no result
6. Colt Gaston (LSU) def. Jonah Kane West (TUL) 6-3, 6-2
Tulane 22-6; National ranking #20
LSU 21-8; National ranking #10
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (6,4,2,1)
Match began at 1:30 p.m. after a rain delay.
Clinchers: Singles (1), Doubles (1)
LSU advances to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.