Texas Border Business
DALLAS, Texas – Freshman McAllen Memorial alum Agustin Salazar secured The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) men’s tennis team’s third win in a row Saturday as the Vaqueros defeated the UT Tyler Patriots (UTT) 5-2 at SMU’s Styslinger/Altec Tennis Complex.
UTRGV (3-2) swept the doubles competition to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Junior Emilien Burnel and sophomore Sam Whitehead cruised to a 6-1 win in the No. 1 flight over UTT’s Joaquin Bianchi/Gonzalo Fernandez, the No. 6 ranked doubles team in NCAA Division II. The Croatian sophomore duo of Borna Devald and Karlo Krolo won 6-3 in the No. 2 flight to secure the doubles point. Senior Chris Lawrance and Salazarcompleted the sweep with a hard-earned 7-5 win at No. 3.
Krolo made quick work of his No. 3 singles match, picking up a straight-set 6-3, 6-2 victory. UTT answered with a straight-set win at No. 4 to get on the board. Lawrance picked up a good bounce-back 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 6, but the Patriots cut UTRGV’s lead to 3-2 after a straight-set win at No. 1.
Salazar clinched UTRGV’s victory with a come-from-behind win at No. 5. After dropping the first set 3-6, Salazar gutted out a 7-5 win in the second. With the deciding third tied at 4-4, Salazar put the pedal to the metal to seal his and the team’s win 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Devald also battled back with the pressure on. He went from trailing 2-5 in the deciding third set of his No. 2 match to tie the frame at 5-5, spreading smart shots across the court and delivering loud roars to fire himself and Salazar. Devald fought off several UTT match points as he frustrated his opponent and earned a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 win.
Singles (3, 4, 6, 1, 5, 2)
1. Joaquin Bianchi (UTT) def. Emilien Burnel (UTRGV) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
2. Borna Devald (UTRGV) def. Gonzalo Fernandez (UTT) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
3. Karlo Krolo (UTRGV) def. Jordi Garcia (UTT) 6-3, 6-2
4. Carl Wessel (UTT) def. Sam Whitehead (UTRGV) 6-4, 6-4
5. Agustin Salazar (UTRGV) def. Jonas Dixon (UTT) 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
6. Chris Lawrance (UTRGV) def. Yudai Watanabe (UTT) 6-2, 6-3
Doubles (1, 2, 3)
1. Emilien Burnel/Sam Whitehead (UTRGV) def. Joaquin Bianchi/Gonzalo Fernandez (UTT) 6-1
2. Borna Devald/Karlo Krolo (UTRGV) def. Jonas Dixon/Yudai Watanabe (UTT) 6-3
3. Chris Lawrance/Agustin Salazar (UTRGV) def. Jordi Garcia/Carl Wessel (UTT) 7-5