Oct. 10, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ----- UAB seniors Chris Helliar and Rafael Rondino paced the way for the Blazer men's tennis team on the first day of play at the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championships.
Helliar and Rondino, who both had first round byes, cruised to straight-set singles victories in their first matches of the tournament.
Helliar, who improved his singles record to 13-1 this fall, downed Samford's Liam Sullivan, 6-2, 6-3, and will now face Hayes Brewer of Alabama in Friday's third round action.
Rondino defeated Tulane's Ian Van Cott, 6-4, 6-3, in his first match on Thursday. He will go against Elliott Barnwell of Samford in third round play.
The Blazers got off to an outstanding start early Thursday as Lucas Dirube, Nick Iannuzzi and Luiz Pinto all won first round matches. But the UAB trio was ousted in second round play later in the day.
Dirube was a 7-6, 6-1 winner over Samford's Austin Akers, Iannuzzi outlasted Nicholls State's Siddarth Sivakumar, 6-1, 1-6, 6-1, with Pinto getting past Troy's Mansingh Athare, 6-3, 6-3.
Later in the day, Dirube fell in a three-setter to New Orleans' Christoffer Applegren, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1, Iannuzzi dropped a 6-3, 6-0 decision to Yates Johnson of Louisiana-Lafayette and Pinto lost to Hunter Johnson of Louisiana-Lafayette, 6-2, 6-3.
Meanwhile, UAB's three doubles representatives will see their first action of the tournament on Friday. Two of the Blazers' tandems face assignments against two of the top seeds in the draw.
Iannuzzi and Pinto will play No. 1 seed Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp of Mississippi State while Dirube and Rondino face the third-seeded LSU duo of Boris Arias and Chris Simpson.
UAB's third entry in the field, Helliar and McSeveney, will play their first doubles match against Takum Ohashi and Cedric Rutsaert of Tulane. All three Blazer doubles matches are scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m.
Results - Thursday, Oct. 10
Singles - First Round
Lucas Dirube (UAB) def. Austin Akers (Samford) 7-6(1), 6-3
Nick Iannuzzi (UAB) def. Siddarth Sivakumar (Nicholls State) 6-1, 1-6, 6-1
Luiz Pinto (UAB) def. Mansingh Athare (Troy) 6-3, 6-3
Singles - Second Round
Chris Helliar (UAB) def. Liam Sullivan (Samford) 6-2, 6-3
Christoffer Applegren (New Orleans) def. Lucas Dirube (UAB) 3-6, 7-5, 6-1
Yates Johnson (Louisiana) def. Nick Iannuzzi (UAB) 6-3, 6-0
Rafael Rondino (UAB) def. Ian Van Cott (Tulane) 6-4, 6-3
Hunter Johnson (Louisiana) def. Luiz Pinto (UAB) 6-2, 6-3
Stefan Lindmark (Ole Miss) def. Donovan McSeveney (UAB) 7-5, 6-0
Friday, Oct. 11 Schedule
Singles - Third Round
Helliar vs. Hayes Brewer (Alabama), 10 a.m.
Rondino vs. Elliott Barnwell (Samford), 10 a.m.
Doubles - Second Round
Iannuzzi/Pinto vs. (1) Jordan Angus/Malte Stropp (Miss. State), 8:30 a.m.
Dirube/Rondino vs. (3) Boris Arias/Chris Simpson (LSU), 8:30 a.m.
Helliar/McSeveney vs. Takuma Ohashi/Cedric Rutsaert (Tulane), 8:30 a.m.