CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Oct. 5, 2013 – Sophomore Robert Stirling (Caboolture, Australia/St. Columbans College) and freshman Miljan Ruzic (Sydney, Australia/St. Euphemia College) paced the James Madison men’s tennis team Saturday, teaming up for a runner-up finish in the Blue Doubles draw at the UVA Fall Classic.
Stirling and Ruzic began competition at the event with an 8-6 win over Longwood’s Edward Becker and Daniel Elston on Friday, and advanced to the finals with a win by default on Saturday. They dropped their finals match 8-5 to Liberty’s Jorge Azuero and Shea Thomas, who upset the second-seeded team in their opening match.
Sophomore Maxi Branth (Stockholm, Sweden/Tullinge Gymnasium) led the Dukes in singles play, continuing his great start to the fall season. The fourth seed in the Gold Singles draw, Branth is 2-1 after the first two days of play, including a 2-6, 6-1, 10-6 win over George Mason’s Jimmy Davis in his final match Saturday. He will play William & Mary’s John Banks on Sunday to determine fifth place in the 16-man bracket.
Branth’s first win of the tournament came in straight sets over the College of Charleston’s Alex Faiman. He is now 4-2 in singles play this fall.
Freshmen Brett Moorhead (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) and Sebastian Salinas (Merida, Mexico Preparatoria Abierta SEP) have also posted two wins apiece in singles play. Both lost their opening match before bouncing back with a pair of wins.
Playing in the Green Singles draw, Moorhead pushed fourth-seeded Josh Yablon to a third set before dropping his opening match. He responded with straight-set wins over Penn State’s Rami Labna and Coastal Carolina’s Rick Timmerman.
Salinas competed in the Orange Singles draw and posted wins over Norfolk State’s Dimitry Zyhmantovich and Longwood’s Edward Becker.
Freshman Niels Kathol (Bonn, Germany/Collegium Josephinum Bonn) notched his second win of the season, beating Liberty’s Sergio Mourelo 6-3. 7-5. He is 1-2 in the tournament.
The Dukes will wrap up competition in singles play on Sunday.