Men's Tennis Falls Short in Jerry Simmons Invitational
Communications Graduate Assistant
BATON ROUGE — After starting the Jerry Simmons Invitational 2-0, the LSU men’s tennis team fell short in the championship match against Penn State, falling 4-2, Sunday afternoon at the LSU Tennis Complex.
With the loss, LSU drops to 4-1 on the year while Penn State improves to 3-0.
Co-Head Coach Andy Brandi on the Match
“We needed to compete today in the key moments as well as we did yesterday,” co-head coach Andy Brandi said. “Yesterday, we had good matches from five courts in the singles. Today, we only had good matches from four courts. When you look at the doubles, we only had one good match out of three. They just did not take care of business. They needed to show up with a bigger heart and more guts. Unfortunately, Penn State showed up like that, and we did not.”
The senior pair of Shane Monroe and Nikola Samardzic dropped its match to Matt Galush and Ben Lieb, 6-2, on court two, marking the first time this season that the Tigers entered singles play trailing 1-0.
Bhatnagar tied the match at 1-1 with his back-to-back 6-1 sets against Antonopoulo on court three.
Penn State took the 2-1 lead after Nemeth defeated Kozlov on court three, 6-1, 6-3, but the Tigers tied it up again when Thomas took a straight-set 6-4, 6-4 match from Ben Lieb on court five.
A minute later, Penn State regained the 3-2 lead when Samardzic dropped his match on court six, 4-6, 3-6, to Alp Sentay.
Wagner fell in his first set on court two, 4-6, but bounced back in the second with a 6-4 win of his own. However, he was not able to hang on in the third and eventually fell to Christian Lakoseljac, 3-6.
After Sunday’s match, the Tigers will go on the road for the first time this season. LSU will face Tulane on Friday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. CT in New Orleans at City Park Pepsi Center at the same time that the LSU women’s tennis team faces the Tulane women.
LSU will return home Sunday, February 3 at noon CT against Rice.
For up-to-date information and behind-the-scenes access on the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men's tennis team on Twitter and Instagram at @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.
Jerry Simmons Invitational Championship
Penn State 4, LSU 2
1. Shane Monroe (LSU) vs. Constant De La Basse (PSU) 7-6 (7-3), 1-4, unfinished
2. Christian Lakoseljac (PSU) def. Rafael Wagner (LSU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
3. Malik Bhatnagar (LSU) def. Christos Antonopoulo (PSU) 6-1, 6-1
4. Gabriel Nemeth (PSU) def. Boris Kozlov (LSU) 6-1, 6-3
5. Joey Thomas (LSU) def. Ben Lieb (PSU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Alp Sentay (PSU) def. Nikola Samardzic (LSU) 6-4, 6-3
1. Rafael Wagner/Joey Thomas (LSU) def. Constant De La Basse/Gabriel Nemeth (PSU) 6-1
2. Matt Galush/Ben Lieb (PSU) def. Shane Monroe/Nikola Samardzic (LSU) 6-2
3. Christian Lakoseljac/Christos Antonopoulo (PSU) def. Malik Bhatnagar/Nick Watson (LSU) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,4,5,6,2)
Jerry Simmons Invitational Finishes
First place: Penn State
Second place: LSU
Third place: Georgia State
Fourth place: South Florida
Fifth place: UL-Lafayette
Sixth place: New Orleans
Seventh place: Lamar
Eighth place: Nicholls