Canes snap two-game skid, win 5-2

The No. 51 University of Miami men’s tennis team took the doubles point and three straight singles matches to clinch a 5-2 victory against No. 58 Georgia Tech Saturday afternoon at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

Over their last two matches, the Hurricanes (5-4, 2-1) were swept in doubles action, which proved to be costly in tough losses at Florida and Florida State.

Senior Daniel Vallverdu and sophomore Carl Sundberg, who were the nation’s top-ranked tandem heading into the spring, won their first match 8-5, while sophomore Keith Crowley and junior David Simon came back to win 8-5 in the decisive third slot.

“It was huge for us to win the doubles point today,”  head coach Mario Rincon said. “Our number three team came through for us, being down a break. They were finally able to play at the level they’re supposed to and they were very aggressive and they were able to get it done. It was really the key to the match.”

Vallverdu, who is ranked 27th, saw his first singles action of the season after suffering a pectoral strain at the ITA National Indoor Championships in November. He lost in the first position to No. 11 Guillermo Gomez, 7-6, 6-1.

“Danny played a really good first set. I think that one call affected his game, unfortunately, but I was really glad to see him play at a really high level against a good opponent,” Rincon said. “He’s going to only get better from now on.”

Simon, senior David Rosenfeld and sophomore Christian Blocker each won in straight sets to seal the win against the Yellow Jackets (5-5, 1-1). Blocker improved to 3-0 in ACC play and 2-0 in the No. 2 position. Before Vallverdu’s return, Blocker had replaced him at No. 1 and struggled.

“[Christian] was able to get some weight off his shoulders and not feel the pressure so much,” Rincon said. “Even though he didn’t play a good match in doubles, he came back in the singles, and I thought he played really well there at the end.”

Sundberg, who is ranked No. 87, came back to win in three sets, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, to remain a perfect 8-0 on the season. Freshman Ignacio Taboada dropped his second consecutive match, 6-7, 6-2, 10-3.

“As a team, we’ve got a lot of things to improve and it was really good for us to get a win against another ACC team,” Rincon said. “Today was a really tight match and I’m very happy that we got this win.”

Miami travels within the state to face South Florida on Friday and Central Florida on Sunday.