Costa Mesa, Calif. - Costa Mesa Tennis Center - The first meeting of the season between the No. 7-ranked Vanguard Lions and the No. 10-ranked Concordia Eagles proved to be a well-matched battle today at the Costa Mesa Tennis Center. In a match originally rained out on March 17, the Eagles took a 3-0 lead before narrowly defeating the Lions 5-4.
The Eagles defeated the Lions 8-3, 8-4, and 8-6 in doubles play to take a commanding lead over the hosts. However, the Lions would not give in and clawed their way back into the match with a strong comeback in singles action.
Roger Muri and Yahor Kryvaruchka defeated their No. 2 and No. 3 Eagle opponents in straight sets to pull the Lions within one point of the Eagles. The visitors would put the Lions' backs against the wall when Bruno Santarelli outlasted VU's Lucas Pereira 6-4, 7-5 in the number one slot to extend the margin to 4-2. In similar fashion, Micah Groom edged VU's Radek Rosiak 7-5, 6-4 at number six to score the clinching fifth point.
The Lions won the last two singles matches, as Robin Wagner notched a three-set win at number four and Lukas Larsson registered a 7-5, 7-6 decision at number six. The final two victories made the final score 5-4 but it was too little too late as the Lions could not overcome the original 3-0 deficit.
"We can't be down 0-3 and think we can win matches," commented VU head coach Mattias Johansson after the match. "However, all the guys really put in a great effort in singles, and Lucas Pereira had three set-points in the second set to tie everything up. I will take a 4-5 loss after being down 0-3, as it shows we still had the hunger to win."
The Lions slip to 10-9 overall and 4-5 in GSAC with today's loss while the Eagles improve to 8-9 and 6-5 in GSAC. No. 7-ranked Vanguard will be back in action on Wednesday in another rescheduled match from a rainout on February 27. Traveling down to Pt. Loma, the match begins at 2:00 p.m. in San Diego.