CONWAY, SC, March 9, 2013 - Freshman Robert Stirling (Caboolture, Australia/St. Columbans College) defeated Matias Di Pasquale in two sets (7-6, 6-4) in the No. 4 position to give the James Madison men's tennis team the match in a 4-3 thriller at Coastal Carolina on Saturday afternoon. It was the only lead of the match for JMU.
The Dukes are now 3-6 in duals while the Chanticleers are an even 4-4 this spring.
It was a back-and-forth affair throughout the match, and the Chanticleers struck first as they swept the doubles point. Leo Christofides and John Karle won 8-1 over seniors Greg Vladimirsky (Staten Island, N.Y./Broward Virtual) and Hugo Ramadier (Paris, France/Lycee Francais Chateabriand (Northern Arizona)) at the No. 2 position, and senior Ryan Pool (Melbourne, Australia/Braemar (Chattanooga)) and Stirling lost 8-2 to Garik Yedigarian and Di Pasquale at the No. 1 position.
Pool quickly evened the match at 1-all with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Christofides at the No. 1 position. Coastal, however, would retake the match lead behind Yedigarian's 6-3, 6-4 win over Ramadier at the No. 3 slot.
Freshman Maxi Branth (Stockholm, Sweden/Tullinge Gymnasium) was the next Duke to step up and knotted the match at 2-2. Branth delivered a 6-3, 6-4 victory against Stefan Jakubov at the No. 6 position.
Not yielding, Yusuke Kusuda again put the Chanticleers on top as he defeated Vladimirsky in two sets (6-3, 7-5) at the No. 2 position.
With Coastal within one point of victory, senior Florent Sentenac (Borderes, France/Lycee Theophile Gautier (Auburn Montgomery)) battled to a three-set win over Hunter Whalen at the No. 5 position to close the gap once more. Sentenac jumped out to a one set lead with a 6-4 win but lost in set two 6-2. The senior turned the score around and took down Whalen 6-2 in set three to make the final point of the day the decisive point.
JMU closes its southern swing and next heads north for a conference match-up at Delaware on March 16. Doubles play gets underway at 1:30 p.m. at the Delaware Field House Tennis Courts.