LOS ANGELES — The Cal Poly men's tennis team fell just short of winning the consolation championship of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend tournament Sunday, dropping its contest against South Alabama 4-3 on the campus of USC.
In doubles, the Mustang pairing of senior Dominic Bechard and freshman Gary Vardanyan got things started with a dominating 6-0 win at the No. 3 position. Bechard and Vardanyan are now off to a 3-0 start this season.
The Jaguars then won the doubles matches at both the Nos. 1 and 2 spots 6-4 to take the doubles point.
After South Alabama won the first singles match at the No. 6 position to take a 2-0 lead, Vardanyan got the first point of the day for the Mustangs with a win at the No. 4 spot 6-1, 6-2. Vardanyan is still undefeated so far this season in both singles and doubles as he is off to a 4-0 start in singles.
After 48th ranked Clement Marzol won at the No. 2 spot to give the Jaguars a 3-1 lead, Cal Poly began to rally back. Junior Antoine Noel (pictured) won his match at the No. 3 spot 6-3, 7-6 (7). Noel has now won his last three matches and is 3-1 this season. That was followed by senior Josh Ortlip winning his match at the No. 1 position 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 to tie the score at 3-3.
In the final match at the No. 5 spot, sophomore Alex Stater was locked in a battle. After Stater took the first set 6-3, the Jaguars' Max Laparaille won the next two sets 6-2, 6-2 for the 4-3 win.
Cal Poly is back in action next weekend for two road dual matches. The Mustangs travel to Fresno State on Friday and Pacific on Sunday.