no. 5 Men’s Tennis falls to No. 14 Arizona, 4-3

Austin – no. 5 Texas Men’s Tennis fell to No. 14 Arizona, 4-3, in Tucson on Friday. It was the first road dual match of the season for the Longhorns, who rallied for three singles victories following the Wildcats’ clinch.

The wins came from sophomore No. 73 Cleeve Harper at no. 5, senior Richard Ciamarra at no. 4 and freshman Pierre-Yves Bailly at no. 3.

With Texas trailing 4-0, Harper scored the first point for the Longhorns with a 7-6(3), 6-4 win over Carlos Hassey. Each player picked up a break in the second and third games starting with Harper, and the rest of the set stayed on serve from there leading to the breaker. In that frame, Harper pushed out to a 4-1 lead that he maintained to a 7-3 final. That momentum continued into the second set where he jumped to a 5-0 advantage, but Hassey rallied with a 4-0 run that included three deuce points before Harper closed for the win.

The Longhorns took both of the final two matches in third-set superbreakers. Ciamarra was next with a 2-6, 7-6 (2), 1-0 (6) victory over No. 53 Herman Hoeyeraal. After Hoeyeraal finished the first set on a 4-0 run, the second remained tight all the way through. Hoeyerall won a deuce point to send it a tiebreaker, but Ciamarra used a 4-0 run to turn a 3-2 lead into a win and go to the superbreaker. Hoeyerall took the first point there, but Ciamarra put together runs of 4-0 and 5-0 sandwiched around one by Hoeyerall of 3-0 for a 9-4 lead. Hoeyerall got two points back, but Ciamarra grabbed the final one for his win.

That left Bailly on the court against Colton Smith in an extremely close match that Bailly emerged from with a 6-7 (5), 7-5, 1-0 (10) win. Smith moved to a 4-2 lead on a deuce point in the first set that he then pushed to 5-3, but Bailly took the next two games to even it. The players then traded games leading to the tiebreaker where Bailly got out to a 4-1 lead, but Smith answered that with a 6-1 run, first tying it at 5-5 before completing it with the final two points. In the second set, Bailly won a pair of deuce games for a 3-1 lead before Smith went on a 3-0 run for a lead of his own, which he advanced to 5-4 on a deuce point. However, Bailly won the next game on a deuce point to start a 3-0 run for the set and to take it to the superbreaker. In that frame, neither player gained more than a one-point advantage throughout with 10 ties until Bailly broke through with the final two points in a 12-10 win.

In the other matches, sophomore Eliot Spizzirri was topped by Jonas Ziverts, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 1, sophomore no. 20 Micah Braswell was downed by the same score by Gustaf Strom at No. 2, and junior Chih Chi Huang fell to Filip Malbasic, 7-5, 6-4, at No. 6 in a match that closed with six-straight deuce point games that the players split three each. It was also the second-straight match where the Longhorns were without sophomore No. 105 Siem Woldeab in singles after he only played doubles against Florida, which he also missed against Arizona.

In doubles, the Texas lineup shifted without Woldeab. the no. 13 pair of Ciamarra and Harper moved up to No. 1, while Spizzirri partnered with Bailly at No. 2, and Braswell and Huang combined at No. 3.

Ciamarra and Harper got off to a quick start with a 6-1 win over Ziverts and Hoeyeraal, however Arizona took the remaining two matches. Malbasic and Jett Middleton first topped Braswell and Huang, 6-3, while Spizzirri and Bailly almost overcame a 5-1 deficit, but came up short in the comeback attempt against Hassey and Smith, 6-4.

The Longhorns next head to Tempe to play the second of their two Arizona matches against Arizona State on Sunday at 2 pm CT/1 pm MT.

#14 Arizona 4, #5 Texas 3

Singles – Order of Finish (1,2,6,5,4,3)
1. Jonas Ziverts (ARIZ) def. Eliot Spizzirri (UT) 6-4, 6-3
2. Gustaf Strom (ARIZ) def. #20 Micah Braswell (UT) 6-4, 6-3
3. Pierre-Yves Bailly (UT) def. Colton Smith (ARIZ) 6-7 (5), 7-5, 1-0 (10)
4. Richard Ciamarra (UT) def. #53 Herman Hoeyeraal (ARIZ) 2-6, 7-6 (2), 1-0 (6)
5. #73 Cleeve Harper (UT) def. Carlos Hassey (ARIZ) 7-6 (3), 6-4
6. Filip Malbasic (ARIZ) def. Chih Chi Huang (UT) 7-5, 6-4

Doubles – Order of Finish (1,3,2)
1. #13 Richard Ciamarra/Cleeve Harper (UT) def. Jonas Ziverts/Herman Hoeyeraal (ARIZ) 6-1
2. Carlos Hassey/Colton Smith (ARIZ) def. Eliot Spizzirri/Pierre-Yves Bailly (UT) 6-4
3. Jett Middleton/Filip Malbasic (ARIZ) def. Chih Chi Huang/Micah Braswell (UT) 6-3

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