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Men’s Tennis Wins First Match of the Season Against Louisiana

Jessica Piland

The FGCU men’s tennis team defeated Louisiana 5-2 to win their first match of the season on Jan. 20. Three doubles sets started the match as the Eagles won the first two that concluded and gave them the doubles point in the process before winning the four matches necessary in the singles sets to win and improve to 1-1 on the season.

Heavy rain was a problem for FGCU in their opening weekend as their first match against Buffalo on Jan. 12 was canceled. Their next contest against Troy on Jan. 13 was moved up several hours and the Eagles lost 2-5.

To start this match, the first court had freshman Hugo Magnusson and senior Eric Oncins, who found themselves in an early deficit against their opponents as they trailed by 3-1. However, they were able to rally a comeback to force a tiebreaker and eventually won 7-6.

On court three, graduate student John Zakowski and freshman Ninad Raut won their doubles set 6-4, clinching the doubles point for FGCU. A third set with freshmen Harry Michalowski and Mika Bunjes on court two, who were leading 6-5 at the time, was abandoned as the doubles point was clinched by the Eagles.

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In the singles round, Magnusson won both of his first two sets, 6-4 and 6-1, and Bunjes won his first two sets, 6-1 and 6-4, as both of them won early. Raut and freshman Philipp Bosse won both their singles sets in the third round, 6-2 and 7-6 respectively, each splitting the first two sets with the Ragin’ Cajuns’ players before clinching a victory in the match for the FGCU over Louisiana 5-2.

Despite some early rallies and leads by the Ragin’ Cajuns, the Eagles were undeterred as they took control of the doubles set and carried the momentum over into the singles sets en route to the win.

“It was an amazing performance by the team,” Magnusson said. “We were starting pretty slow in the doubles but managed to come back safely with three match points and get the point. The energy just kept flowing and we were playing amazing and pushing each other. So, overall, a great win for us.”

The Eagles were able to shine under clear skies against the Ragin’ Cajuns, which was a big turnaround from the previous weekend’s weather conditions. There were also some wind gusts throughout the match that did affect the directions of several bouncing tennis balls.

Coming up next, the Eagles will head to Orlando to take on the UCF Knights on Jan. 27. Moving into early February, the road trip across Florida continues where FGCU will have consecutive road matches against FAU, Miami and USF. The Eagles will finally be back home on Feb. 25 when they welcome the Santa Clara Broncos.

Aside from Zakowski and Oncins, this year’s roster is full of freshmen. Magnusson is confident in the rest of his teammates as they look forward to the rest of the season.

“Just keep this in mind that we know we can beat these guys,” Magnusson said. “We have some tough opponents coming up. We believe in ourselves and we think that we can beat every opponent we have.”

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Jessica Piland
Jessica Piland, Eagle News Photo Editor
Jessica Piland is a senior majoring in political science and minoring in global studies. She found her passion for photography during her senior year of high school after shooting some film for fun with her grandfather’s camera from the 80s. In addition to her work as photo editor for Eagle News, she works as a staff photographer for FGCU Athletics and is a photography intern with the University Marketing and Communications department. As she enters her third year as photo editor, she is excited for the fun stories, campus events, and breaking news that Eagle News will be covering!

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