By FAMU Sports information Intern Deke Olagbegi
TALLAHASSEE, FL- (Jan. 19) After starting off with what looked to be a promising day, the Florida A&M Rattler Men's Tennis team took a tough loss today against the University of Alabama - Birmingham at the Florida State Outdoor Tennis Facility.
The doubles segment ended with a win for FAMU before going into singles. With the doubles win, one point was secured and they needed just three more wins in singles matches to secure their first win of the season.
"Our doubles this week was definitely better, we ended up winning the doubles point and what we can improve on is finishing off single matches," says Assistant Coach and former All-MEAC tennis player Levan Clark.
The doubles point was won in victories by the number one doubles team of Salif Kante and Takura Happy (8-6) and the number three doubles team of Temuera Asafu-Adjaye and Zack Evenden (8-4). The number two doubles team of Chidi Gabriel and Admire Mushonga lost (4-8).
The start for singles on most of the courts was a consistent and steady atmosphere. 2012 MEAC Tennis Player of the Year, Kante won (7-6, 6-1) at the number one singles spot. Gabriel, Mushonga, Asafu-Adjaye each lost in straight sets. Evenden lost in a third set battle and Happy was unable to finish due to the match being called.
Most of the team felt that their singles playing was not up to par. Although they showed great disappointment for their lost matches, they still walked away with their heads held high for those who won singles and the win in doubles.
"Doubles was good. Number three played awesome and they finished quick and number one doubles we played very well," said Kante. This is why coaches such as 2012 MEAC Coach of the Year, head coach Dr. Carl Goodman, stresses the importance of doubles and strategic match play.
Winning the doubles point today was a step forward for the FAMU Men's tennis team. They may be down 0-2 in their record but they have a promising season to look forward to on their road to success.
Their next match will be against South Alabama, a nationally ranked team at Florida State University Outdoor courts in Tallahassee, FL January 20th at 2:00 p.m.