Posted: Oct 24, 2012 11:37 PM by UL Sports Information
The 71st ranked Ragin' Cajuns men's tennis team continued its USTA Futures run over the weekend at the Birmingham Futures Event held at the Highland Park Tennis Center.
"It was a great experience for the guys on the team," volunteer assistant coach Jeff Johnson said. "The players we faced all are aspiring to turn pro, so every match is tough. To have all of our guys go through after the first round was good."
Both Rick De Groot and Edgar Lopez made it to the third round of the Birmingham Futures, while Hunter and Yates Johnson joined De Groot and Lopez with wins on the first day of competition.
De Groot defeated Andrew Day, 6-1, 7-5, and Sascha Bilek of Germany, 6-1, 6-3, to reach the third round. The Pekala, Holland native dropped a hard fought 6-3, 7-6(3) decision to the bracket champion Korey Lovett.
Like De Groot, Lopez also came up short against the bracket champion, Joey Burkhardt, falling 7-5, 6-3. Lopez picked up a 6-1, 6-1 second round victory over Hunter Perry to advance to the third round.
"We made a lot of progress with the four guys who competed," Johnson mentioned. "The Johnson twins actually got a wild card into the main draw for doubles, which is quite substantial for a pair of freshmen. Rick and Edgar also made it to the doubles main draw, but we had to pull our players out, which is okay. This shows that our guys plays can play with anyone out there including the professionals."
Hunter Johnson defeated Alexandru Gasca-Silav of Romania 6-4, 6-3 before falling in the second round to No.9 seeded Sahr Timothy Kpulun of Sierra Leone 6-1, 6-2.
The other Johnson twin, Yates, had a 6-4, 6-2 win over Tony Wilkey in his first round match. Yates went on to fall 6-2, 6-2 to the No.8 seed Morgan Mays in the second round.
"We are trying to get our players to be better thinkers," Johnson added. "Futures matches, unlike college matches, don't allow coaching, so the guys need to be able to come up with the answers on their own."
The Cajuns are slated close out their USTA Futures swing this weekend when the team heads to Pensacola, Fla. for the Pensacola Futures Event. For updates follow the team on twitter @CajunMensTennis.