Wake Forest Holds Off Alabama 4-3
Jan. 26, 2013
By Ben Helms, WakeForestSports.com
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest men's tennis team edged Alabama 4-3 thanks to a gutty victory at No. 6 singles by freshman Sam Bloom, giving the Demon Deacons a solid start to their busy weekend.
No. 65 Wake Forest (4-0) followed up the win against the 48th-ranked Crimson Tide by sweeping the doubles point against Penn State in the evening session. The singles portion of the match against the Nittany Lions will begin Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
With Wake Forest and Alabama playing on only four courts, Bloom went on the court at No. 6 singles with the Demon Deacons leading 3-2, knowing that his match would play an important role in deciding the overall outcome.
The freshman from Hinsdale, Ill. cruised through the first set 6-2 against Alabama's Carlos Taborga and took an early lead in the second before Taborga rallied back to tie the set 3-3. Bloom regained momentum, breaking Taborga to go ahead 5-3, and then cracked a blistering serve on his first match point to seal victory for Wake Forest.
The No. 65 Deacons (4-0) prevailed in doubles against the Crimson Tide, winning at the first and third positions to take the first point of the match. The third doubles team of Danny Kreyman and Sam Bloom played a close match early against Alabama's Philippe Tsangarides and Taborga, before breaking to go up 6-4. Kreyman and Bloom never looked back, finishing off the match by a score of 8-5.
At the first doubles position, David Hopkins and Amogh Prabhakar secured a quick break to go up 3-1 on top Crimson Tide duo Jarryd Botha and Becker O'Shaughnessey. Hopkins and Prabhakar defended their lead and won 8-5.
Jon Ho and Adam Lee, Wake Forest's second position partners, battled Daniil Proskura and David Vieyra to a 6-6 tie before the match was stopped after the doubles point was decided.
On the singles side, the Deacons had hard fought matches at each position. Ho picked up the first singles point for the Demon Deacons, winning 6-3, 6-3 over the Crimson Tide's Vieyra at the fourth position. Both sets started out close, but Ho played strong down the stretch to finish off the Alabama sophomore.
Prabhakar, ranked 59th in the country, prevailed in a very tight second position match. After winning the first set by a score of 7-5, the Wake Forest senior went down to the wire to win the second set in a tiebreak, 7-6 (8-6), giving the Deacons a 3-0 lead.
But Alabama rallied back to make things interesting.
The first position match proved to be a roller coaster. Hopkins dominated the first set against No. 79 Botha of the Crimson Tide, winning 6-0, but in the second set, Botha broke early to go up 2-0 and closed out the set by a score of 6-3. Botha continued to roll in the third set, winning 6-2, giving the Crimson Tide their first point of the match.
Senior Deacon Kreyman had an up-and-down match at the third spot. After dropping the first set to Proskura, he fought back to win the second set. But the Crimson Tide junior proved too much in the third set, and Kreyman lost by a score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to cut the Deacon lead to 3-2.
After Bloom clinched for the Deacons at No. 6, Lee dropped a 10-point tiebreak that was played in lieu of a third set at No. 5 singles, falling 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (4) to Tsangarides.
Wake Forest eased through doubles against Penn State. Hopkins and Prabhakar cruised to an 8-2 win over Roman Trkulja and Russell Bader at No. 1, and Ho and Lee clinched the point at No. 2, downing Guanhua Chen and Chris Young 8-6. Kreyman and Bloom completed the sweep at No. 3, edging C.J. Griffin and Bryan Welnetz 8-7 (6).
The Deacons will finish their match with Penn State at 9 a.m. and will then close out the weekend against New Mexico at 5 p.m. at the Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center. Live scoring will be available on wakeforestsports.com.
#65 Wake Forest 4, #48 Alabama 3
#65 Wake Forest vs. Penn State
Singles resumes at 9 a.m. Sunday