Lincoln - The Nebraska men's tennis team captured four of the six singles matches to capture a thrilling 4-3 upset of No. 30 VCU in the Huskers' first match of the day at the Nebraska Tennis Center on Sunday.
With the victory, the Huskers improved to 2-3 on the year while notching their first win over a ranked team of 2013.
Nebraska Coach Kerry McDermott praised the toughness and focus of the Huskers to battle back and knock off VCU.
"This is a great team victory, especially after losing the doubles point," McDermott said. "We didn't let that affect our efforts and the outcome going into singles. I told our guys I couldn't be more proud of them today, because last year we went to Virginia and got beat like a drum at their place. Today our team stepped it up and went from boys to men. VCU is a great program. It was a great match between two even teams. I'm happy we got this one today."
VCU claimed the doubles points with wins at the top two spots, before Marc Herrmann started Nebraska's success on the singles courts with a 6-4, 6-3 sweep of VCU's Alejandro Argente at No. 3. VCU's No. 45 Max Wennakoski put the Rams back in front with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Eric Sock at No. 2, before Michael Voscek put VCU on the brink of victory with a 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) win over Sebastian Florczyk at No. 5.
Dusty Boyer started Nebraska's decisive rally with a 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (8-6) win over VCU's Claes Goransson at No. 3 to close the team gap to 3-2.
Andre Stenger then registered Nebraska's most impressive win of the day with a huge 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 come-from-behind victory at No. 1 singles over No. 67 Alexis Huegas, and tie the team score at 3.
"It was good to see senior co-captain Andre Stenger man-up today and take out the No. 67 guy in the country," McDermott said. "It gave his teammates confidence at their positions."
Tom Blackwell then sealed the upset and the comeback with his own come-from-behind victory with a 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) over No. 113 Jamie Vazquez at No. 6 singles. Blackwell improved to 5-0 on the spring with the win.
"The game ball goes to Tom Blackwell, who won against the No. 113 ranked kid, and stealing the huge victory," McDermott said. "Tom is gamer."
The Huskers complete a busy day with a match against in-state rival Creighton at 6 p.m. at the Nebraska Tennis Center.
Nebraska 4, #30 VCU 3
Sunday, Feb. 10
1. (VCU) Alexis Huegas/Dylan McCloskey def. Andre Stenger/Marc Herrmann 8-6
2. (VCU) Max Wennakoski/Michael Voscek def. Brandon Videtich/Scott Elsass 8-5
3. (VCU) #36 Alejandro Argente/Jamie Vazquez No Finish vs. Dusty Boyer/ Bradford Zitsch (No finish)
Order of Finish 1, 2, 3
1. (NU) Andre Stenger def. (VCU) #67 Alexis Huegas 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
2. (VCU) #45 Max Wennakoski def. (NU) Eric Sock 6-3, 6-2
3. (NU) Marc Herrmann def. (VCU) Alejandro Argente 6-4, 6-3
4. (NU) Dusty Boyer def. (VCU) Claes Goransson 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (8-6)
5. (VCU) Michael Voscek def. (NU) Sebastian Florczyk 6-4, 7-6 (9-7)
6. (NU) Tom Blackwell def. (VCU) #113 Jamie Vazquez 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6)
Order of Finish 3, 2, 5, 4, 1, 6