Upsetting the pecking order: Tiger men's tennis knocks off No. 21 Auburn

Freshman Austin Ansari clinched Clemson's highest-ranked win since 2007

Men's Tennis - Austin Ansari

Photo by Mark Crammer

Men's Tennis - Austin Ansari

AUBURN, Ala. - Clemson freshman Austin Ansari defeated Joseph Van Dooren at number-six singles in clinching the match as Clemson upset Auburn 5-2 in a men’s intercollegiate tennis match Friday afternoon.

Auburn is ranked 21st nationally while Clemson is ranked 51st according to the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll. Clemson improved to 9-1 overall, while Auburn fell to 7-2 this season.

Auburn is the highest-ranked team that Clemson has defeated in coach Chuck McCuen’s tenure, which started in 2009. It is also the highest ranked team that Clemson has defeated since the Tigers defeated 20th-ranked N.C. State 6-1 on April 7, 2007. It is the highest ranked team that Clemson has defeated on the road since the Tigers defeated 18th-ranked Georgia Tech on March 8th, 2006.

“This team really perseveres,” said McCuen. "They believe they can stay in matches no matter the score or the situation. They are fighters. When we were down after the doubles point, I thought that point was going to be critical coming into the match. We were disappointed at the break. However, we challenged the team to go back to work, and they responded.”

Auburn started the match by winning the doubles point. The nation’s top-ranked doubles team of Daniel Cochrane and Andreas Mies defeated Yannick Maden and Zacharay Rigsby 8-3 at No. 1 doubles. Auburn also won at No. 2 doubles to take an early 1-0 lead.

In singles play, Clemson evened the match score 1-1 when Zachary Rigsby defeated Lucas Lopasso 6-2, 6-0. Rigsby is now 6-1 overall in singles.

Auburn took a 2-1 advantage in the match when Dennis Lengsfeld defeated Clemson’s Ayrton Wibowo 6-2, 6-0 at No. 4 singles. From this point Clemson won the next four singles matches.

At No. 3 singles Gerardo Meza of won his seventh match of the season as he upset 120th-ranked Lukas Ollert 6-4, 6-1.

Yannick Maden, ranked 83rd nationally, put Clemson ahead 3-2 in the match as he defeated Mies 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 singles. Maden is now 14-4 overall this season in singles play. In dual matches he is 8-1 this season.

“Yannick played great,” said McCuen. "He played smart, textbook tennis, and this trickled down to the other courts."

Ansari clinched the match for Clemson with his 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Dooren at No. 6 singles. Ansari is now 9-3 overall and 7-0 in dual matches.

Clemson’s Hunter Harrington then won his match at No. 2 singles over Cochrane 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, as he improved his singles record to 10-4 overall and 6-1 in dual matches.

“Ansari played a solid first set and in the third set with the pressure on, he stepped up and would not go away. He fought in the third set and clinched the match for us,” said McCuen. “We are going to enjoy this match, but not for long as we will go back to work and prepare for some tough matches ahead."

Clemson will play at South Carolina in Columbia on Sunday March 3, at 1 p.m. in the Tigers’ next action.

Clemson 5, Auburn 2

1. #83 Yannick Maden (CU) d. #106 Andreas Mies (A) 6-3, 6-2

2. Hunter Harrington (CU) d. Daniel Cochrane (A) 7-5, 3-6, 6-3

3. Gerardo Meza (CU) d. #120 Lukas Ollert (A) 6-4, 6-1

4. Dennis Lengsfeld, (A) Ayrton Wibowo (CU) 6-2, 6-0

5. Zachary Rigsby (CU) d. Lucas Lopasso (A) 6-2, 6-0

6. Austin Ansari (CU) d. Joseph Van Dooren (A) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3


1. #1 Cochrane/Mies (A) d. Y. Maden/Rigsby (CU) 8-3

2. Lengsfeld/Lopasso (A) d. Ansari/Wibowo (CU) 9-7

3. Harrington/Meza (CU) d. Ollert/Van Dooren (A) 8-6

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