Mustang News Staff Report
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For the first time in over two weeks the Cal Poly men’s tennis team returned to Mustang Courts, facing a Florida Gulf Coast side that is now 6-3 on the season.
The Mustangs were able to outlast the Eagles on Tuesday, holding on for the 4-3 victory.
After securing the doubles point, Cal Poly sophomore Garrett Auproux sealed the victory in a long three-set match to conclude the contest. Freshman Axel Damiens and senior Naveen Beasley captured the other two singles points for the Mustangs, defeating both of their opponents in straight-sets.
Cal Poly (8-4) has started the season strong, evidenced by its No. 61 ranking in the nation. The ranking is the program’s highest in nearly two years. The young side — only two upperclassmen — has proven in nonconference play they will be challengers for the top spot when Big West Conference play begins at the end of March.
Just last weekend, the Mustangs placed third at the Pacific Invitational, going 2-1 in three matches. Cal Poly defeated Grand Canyon and Fresno State — their second win over the Bulldogs — but could not top New Mexico, a side Cal Poly took down 4-3 earlier this year.
The doubles combination of sophomores Ben Donovan and Corey Pang has been dominant, winning its last six matches now. Donovan has also had success at the No. 1 singles spot, tallying a team-high 12 victories thus far, despite a tough three-set loss Tuesday.
The Mustangs are now 5-0 at home, but are 3-4 away from Mustang Courts. Fortunately for Cal Poly, its next three matches are at home.
Loyola Marymount visits on March 6, Utah State on March 8 and Southern Methodist University on March 13.