No. 2 Men's Tennis Rallies to Beat No. 4 Lynn

No. 2 Men's Tennis Rallies to Beat No. 4 Lynn
No. 19 Fabian Groetsch beat No. 23 Vlad Cirla in a tough match to clinch the Bucs 7-2 win at Lynn. Photo by Joel Auerbach

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Barry University's No. 2-ranked men's tennis team responded from a 2-1 doubles deficit to beat No. 4 Lynn on the road Saturday.

The Buccaneers (17-0, 6-0 Sunshine State Conference) won all six singles matches, three of which needed a tiebreaker or match tiebreaker to decide.

Marco Mokrzycki and Fabian each won two matches, their No. 1 doubles victory a key win after the Bucs dropped the No. 2 flight. Ranked No. 2 nationally, Mokrzycki and Groetsch beat Simon Gloeckner and Pavel Mohja, 8-5, at No. 1. That came after Lynn's Alessio Iannozzi and Max Kouyate defeated Max Wimmer and Ollie Lemaitre, 8-2, at No. 2. Lynn's Vlad Cirla and Giulio Gomba withstood a battle from Leo Vivas and Romain Costamagna, pulling out a 9-8 (6) victory at the No. 3 flight.

"The mood wasn't that good because we thought we could be up 3-0 or 2-1 after doubles," Groetsch said. "It was a little bit unexpected. Marco and I had a little pressure on us because we saw that we lost one doubles match and were behind in the other. Finally we won.

"Last year we lost to them in the regionals after beating them in the conference championships. This time, I didn't feel any fear. I was expecting that we were going to win five of the singles matches."

Groetsch, ranked 19th in the country, was put to the test against 23rd-ranked Cirla at No. 2 singles. The two have a competitive history over the past two years as they've traded wins over their last four head-to-head encounters. Groetsch won the first set relatively comfortably before needing a second-set tiebreaker to pull out the win, 6-2, 7-6 (4), clinching the victory for the Buccaneers.

"The balls were getting slower (in the second set)," Groetsch said. "He returned really well two times. He was, by far, the best player on the team. I really enjoy playing him because it's always a good match."

Mokrzycki, ranked No. 4 in the country, beat No. 27 Max Kouyate, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 1 for the Bucs first singles win. Ranked 22nd, Wimmer defeated Mohja, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 3, and Lemaitre defeated Gomba, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 6, to give Barry a 4-2 lead.

After Groetsch sealed the victory for Barry, Costamagna handed Gloeckner his first loss of the season, winning 7-6 (4), 6-2 at No. 4 in one of the toughest matches of the day. Vivas withstood the 47th-ranked Iannozzi, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 10-6, in a match tiebreaker victory at No. 5.

The Bucs improved their school-record consecutive win streak to start a season, and completed an undefeated SSC regular season. Now the Buccaneers travel to Austin, Texas, for three matches, beginning with Thursday's 9 a.m. battle against No. 3 Hawai'i Pacific. Barry will also play No. 13 Grand Canyon 10 a.m. Friday and No. 31 St. Edward's 9 a.m. Saturday.

"It's always good to play against outside opponents," Groetsch said. "I'm looking forward to play there. I think everybody is looking foward to it because we're going to see some good competition."