BATON ROUGE --- The 32nd-ranked LSU men's tennis team put together an exciting performance in front of their home crowd Thursday, opening play at W.T. Dub Robinson Stadium with a 5-2 victory over the Clemson Tigers.
LSU (3-1) kept the crowd on its feet as they battled to a hard-fought win over a tough Clemson team.
The LSU Tigers came out strong from the start in doubles, with wins by junior tandem Roger Anderson and Stefan Szacinski, and senior Neal Skupski and sophomore James Turbervill. Anderson and Szacinski defeated Ayrton Wilbowo and Hunter Harrington 8-4, and Skupski and Turbervill clinched the doubles point for LSU with an 8-6 win against Clemson's Gerardo Meza and Cedric Willems.
On court one, No. 28 Olivier Borsos and Chris Simpson looked to be in trouble, falling behind 5-1 to Clemson's Yannick Maden and Zachary Rigsby. However, the pair refused to give in, storming back to win seven straight games as they posted an 8-5 victory and swept doubles play for the Tigers.
In singles, Clemson (1-2) kept things interesting for LSU.
Turbervill put LSU ahead 2-0 and was the first to finish on court six, defeating Rigsby 6-1, 6-3.
Skupski had just finished off Gerardo Meza in straight sets 6-4, 6-0 on court two to give LSU a 3-0 advantage when the tables began to turn.
On the top court, 68th-ranked Borsos could not keep the momentum for LSU, dropping the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 to No. 59 Yannick Maden.
Simpson rallied on court three to win the second set against Dominique Maden, but he could not push through for the win in the final set, falling 6-1, 0-6, 6-2 as Clemson narrowed the gap to 3-2.
With the match on the line, Tom Knights delivered a 6-4, 6-4 win over Willems on court four to clinch the victory for LSU.
On court five, Szacinski won two tiebreakers, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), against Harrington to put the final touches on the Tigers' 5-2 triumph over Clemson.
"We played a good match today against a tough Clemson team," head coach Jeff Brown said. "We hung around well in doubles and did a good job of closing out when we needed to. There was really a great crowd out there today, and I think that definitely had an impact on the outcome of the match."
LSU will now travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. where they will face the 31st-ranked Michigan Wolverines on Sunday at 5 p.m. CT.
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Clemson vs LSU Feb 02, 2012
Baton Rouge, La. (W.T. Dub Robinson Stadium)
#32 LSU 5, #70 Clemson 2
1. #59 Yannick Maden (CLEM) def. #68 Olivier Borsos (LSU) 6-4, 6-2
2. Neal Skupski (LSU) def. Gerardo Meza (CLEM) 6-4, 6-0
3. Dominique Maden (CLEM) def. Chris Simpson (LSU) 6-1, 0-6, 6-2
4. Tom Knights (LSU) def. Cedric Willems (CLEM) 6-4, 6-4
5. Stefan Szacinski (LSU) def. Hunter Harrington (CLEM) 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4)
6. James Turbervill (LSU) def. Zachary Rigsby (CLEM) 6-1, 6-3
1. #28 Chris Simpson/Olivier Borsos (LSU) def. Yannick Maden/Zachary Rigsby (CLEM) 8-5
2. Neal Skupski/James Turbervill (LSU) def. Gerardo Meza/Cedric Willems (CLEM) 8-6
3. Roger Anderson/Stefan Szacinski (LSU) def. Ayrton Wilbowo/Hunter Harrington (CLEM) 8-4
Match Notes: Clemson 1-2; National ranking #70 LSU 3-1; National ranking #32
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,2,1,3,4,5)