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  • Houston Chapman

Rocha and The Blue Raiders Take Down Notre Dame 4-3 in South Bend

The Men's Tennis team traveled to South Bend to take on the Fighting Irish. Coming off a dominant win over Illinois State, the Blue Raiders were ready for this big-time matchup.

The Raiders had a slow start, dropping two courts in doubles play 2-6 and 3-6. Even though Tom Moonen and Chris Edge won their doubles match 6-3, the Irish won the doubles point.

MTSU got back on track with a quick singles win 6-1, 6-1 by Graduate Student Max Rauch. This win tied the match 1-1. Then Notre Dame's Richard Ciamarra took down Moonen to make it 2-1 Irish. The Blue Raiders responded with Edge winning his singles match 6-3, 7-6. They tied it up at two apiece.

The next match to finish was Notre Dame's Axel Nefve taking down Stijn Slump 7-5, 7-6. This win made it 3-2, and the Raiders had to win out to pull off the upset. The two matches remaining were Pavel Motl and Francisco Rocha. Both of them dropped their first sets.

With his team needing a win to stay alive, Motl surprised the Irish and came back to win his second and third set. This tied it up 3-3, and all eyes were on Rocha.

Rocha won the tie break in the second set to force a final set. Rocha got off to a hot start in this last set and went up three games to one. Then they traded breaks to get to five games to three. This gave Rocha a chance to serve for the match. With his team cheering him on and getting loud with every point, Rocha was ready to complete the comeback.

On the last point, Rocha went back and forth with his opponent. After trading shots, the Irish's Matthew Che ran to the net, and Rocha defended it excellently and completed the comeback. His teammates rushed to the floor, and Head Coach Jimmy Borendame gave his signature fist pump.

The Raiders win it, 4-3, and will be back in action on February 28th as they take on Lipscomb.


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