Men's Tennis Improves to 12-1 With Sweep of No. 36 VCU
Feb. 29, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. – The No. 34 NC State men’s tennis team notched its fifth win over a ranked opponent this season by beating No. 36 Virginia Commonwealth, 6-0, on Wednesday afternoon at the Isenhour Tennis Center.
The victory extended the Wolfpack’s home winning streak to 11 in a row, dating back to last season, and its ACC-best overall winning streak to eight consecutive matches.
State (12-1), which has received impressive play from its three freshmen all season long, got a strong effort from its three seniors in the starting singles lineup, as both No. 86 Jaime Pulgar and Julian Sullivan won in straight sets and Dominic Hodgson came back to beat the only ranked player in VCU’s lineup, No. 89 Max Wennakoski, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
“That was a good win for us because VCU is a really good team,” said head coach Jon Choboy. “No question, they are one of the best teams we have played or will play this season.”
Pulgar (10-1), a lefthander from Madrid, Spain, had little difficulty with VCU sophomore Alexis Huegas, in his 6-2, 6-4 win. Hodgson (6-3) dropped his first set, but rallied for his first win of the season over a ranked opponent.
Sullivan (8-1) has now won six in a row since suffering his only loss of the season.
“There’s been a lot of talk about how well our freshmen have played, but our seniors are really doing a great job also,” Choboy said. “I was really proud of the way Dom played. He’s been ranked most of his career, so he knows what it’s like to face tough opposition.
“He lost to the same guy in three sets last year, so I felt sure he could come out and compete hard to win today. That match was pivotal.”
Last season, the Rams beat the Wolfpack 5-2 in Richmond, Va.
Freshmen Robbie Mudge (11-0) and Austin Powell (9-0) remained undefeated, though they both needed three sets to keep their streak alive. That’s nothing new for Powell, who thrives on coming from behind. But Mudge hadn’t lost a set this season until he dropped the second set against VCU senior Filip Svensson.
Mudge fought back from a 3-5 deficit in the first set to win 7-6. His 21-set winning streak ended in the second, as he fell 4-6, but he quickly rebounded for a 6-3 victory in the third, finishing just moments after Hodgson won his match to secure the team victory.
The sixth singles match, scheduled between freshman Beck Bond and VCU sophomore Alejandro Argente was not played.
The Pack opened the afternoon by winning the doubles point for the 12th time this season. Sullivan and sophomore Sean Weber improved to 9-4 together at No. 1 doubles, after winning for the seventh time in their last eight matches.
Mudge and Pulgar bounced back from their first defeat of the season to win at No. 3 doubles.
“Our doubles have been strong all year long,” Choboy said. “They come out and set a great tone for us in every match.”
The Wolfpack will play its third consecutive match against a ranked opponent next Tuesday, when it travels to face No. 39 UNC Wilmington. That match is slated to begin at 1:30 p.m.
No. 34 NC State 6, No. 36 Virginia Commonwealth 0