Men's Tennis Wins Nightcap Over St. John's

LSU's Chris Simpson clinched the victory
LSU's Chris Simpson clinched the victory
Steve Franz
Ashley Amoss
Ashley Amoss

BATON ROUGE --- No. 27 LSU (11-4, SEC 2-2) swept a doubleheader against Illinois State and No. 75 St. John's Thursday at W.T. 'Dub' Robinson Stadium. LSU took care of Illinois State in the first match, 5-1, and edged by St. John's 4-3 in the nightcap.

All tied up late in the night match, it came down to the final three courts. Freshman Chris Simpson came through on court three, clinching the match in a thrilling 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3 win over St. John's Ilija Vucic.

In doubles, St. John's high intensity proved to be a key factor, helping Vucic and Milo Hauk steal the point away from No. 51 Olivier Borsos and Simpson in a crushing 9-8 (6) loss, and jump on the Tigers early.

After the heartbreaking defeat in doubles, the Tiger regained composer at the break before coming out strong in singles.

Four out of the six Tigers claimed their first set, putting the Tigers in the driver's seat.

Down 1-0, senior Neal Skupski tied it up quickly, winning 6-1, 6-3 over St. John's Hauk.

With the match evenly split, Tom Knights kept his win streak alive, eliminating Matty Najfeld 7-6, 6-2.

However, the Tigers lead did not last long before St. John's Stefan Bojic rallied back to take down James Turbervill, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4.

As the scoreboard hit 2-2, all eyes became fixated on court five where Stefan Szacinski, up 40-15 on match point, finished off Mike Lampa 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to give the Tigers a 3-2 advantage.

With both Borsos and Simpson in their last set, it became a race to the finish with Simpson coming out on top with the clinch.

Borsos would go on to complete his match with Vasko Mladenov, dropping the match 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) and setting the score of 4-3 in the record books.

"This team from St. John's I can't say enough about," head coach Jeff Brown said. "It's like I ran into a buzz saw and somehow survived. The doubles point was of real high intensity and their level is really high. I feel really good about the win today. I usually save "good wins" for top-25 teams, but this was a very strong No. 75 team that won't stay there for long. Overall, I am really proud of the guys today."

Earlier on in the day against Illinois State, the Tigers mixed up the lineup in doubles, which ultimately proved to be a success.

Senior David Roberts paired with Knights to take down Illinois State's Skip Span and Jusso Ojanen 8-3 on court three.

On court two, Skupski and junior Roger Anderson put together an 8-5 victory to win the doubles point for the Tigers.

The 51st-ranked Tiger tandem of Borsos and Simpson capped off the sweep in doubles play for LSU, defeating Alexander Pelaez and Tumas Manner, 8-5.

With the 1-0 advantage, Roberts racked up his second win in dual play this season, taking care of Illinois State's Will Peter in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1.

On court four, Knights stayed hot, shutting down Muddappa Appanervanda 6-2, 6-1, improving his record to 11-2 on the season.

Simpson wrapped it up for the Tigers with a straight set victory over Skip Span, giving LSU the win.

Both Borsos and Anderson finished their matches in a super tiebreaker. Borsos extended the Tigers lead to 5-0 with a thrilling 10-6 win in the third set super tiebreaker.

After making his first dual match appearance in singles, Anderson faught valiantly, but could not close it out, falling 11-9 in his super tiebreaker.

Stefan Szacinski did not finish his match on court three, finalizing the score at 5-1.

The Tigers will take two days off in preparation for their biggest match of the year against No. 2 Ohio State on Monday. The match is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. CT.

Be sure to stay up-to-date on the Tigers by following the team on Twitter at @lsutennis and on Facebook at
LSU vs. Illinois State
Mar 15, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.
(W.T. Dub Robinson Stadium)
#27 LSU 5, Illinois State 1
1. #61 Olivier Borsos (LSU) def. Alexander Pelaez (ILLINOIS) 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 (10-6)
2. Chris Simpson (LSU) def. Skip Span (ILLINOIS) 6-3, 6-3
3. Stefan Szacinski (LSU) vs. Tumas Manner (ILLINOIS) 6-4, 2-3, unfinished
4. Tom Knights (LSU) def. Muddappa Appanervand (ILLINOIS) 6-2, 6-1
5. Jusso Ojanen (ILLINOIS) def. Roger Anderson (LSU) 6-3, 6-7, 1-0 (11-9)
6. David Roberts (LSU) def. Will Peter (ILLINOIS) 6-4, 6-1

1. Olivier Borsos/Chris Simpson (LSU) def. Alexander Pelaez/Tumas Manner (ILLINOIS) 8-5
2. Neal Skupski/Roger Anderson (LSU) def. Will Peter/Muddappa Appanervand (ILLINOIS) 8-5
3. Tom Knights/David Roberts (LSU) def. Skip Span/Jusso Ojanen (ILLINOIS) 8-3
Match Notes: Illinois State 4-7 LSU 10-4; National ranking #27
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,4,2,3,1,5)
St. John's vs LSU
Mar 15, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.
(W.T. Dub Robinson Stadium)
#27 LSU 4, #75 St. John's 3
1. Vasko Mladenov (STJ) def. #71 Olivier Borsos (LSU) 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4)
2. #85 Neal Skupski (LSU) def. Milo Hauk (STJ) 6-1, 6-3
3. Chris Simpson (LSU) def. Ilija Vucic (STJ) 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3
4. Stefan Bojic (STJ) def. James Turbervill (LSU) 1-6, 6-1, 6-4
5. Stefan Szacinski (LSU) def. Mike Lampa (STJ) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
6. Tom Knights (LSU) def. Matty Najfeld (STJ) 7-6 (7-2), 6-2
1. Ilija Vucic/Milo Hauk (STJ) def. #51 Olivier Borsos/Chris Simpson (LSU) 9-8 (8-6)
2. Neal Skupski/Roger Anderson (LSU) def. Stefan Bojic/Vasko Mladenov (STJ) 9-7
3. Mike Lampa/Valentin Mihai (STJ) def. Tom Knights/Stefan Szacinski (LSU) 8-4
Match Notes: St. John's 9-3; National ranking #75
LSU 11- 4; National ranking #27
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,6,4,5,3,1)




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