Galileo Cabrales (SO/San Salvador, El Salvador) defeats three NCAA DI opponents en route to a third-place finish in second flight singles.
The Loyola University New Orleans men's tennis team sent four individuals to Lafayette on Friday morning to participate in the 2017 Battle on the Bayou hosted by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
The event, which was originally slated to run on Friday and Saturday, was rescheduled to a one-day tournament due to the incoming threat of Tropical Storm Nate. Not only was the duration and start time of the tournament altered by the incoming storm but the rules also saw a change as the event shifted from the normal best two out of three sets format to an eight-game pro set format to allow for all matches to take place on the same day. The seeding at the tournament remained the same, but the consolations doubles bracket was removed due to time constraints.
Friday's event yielded no team scores but it did provide plenty of noteworthy individual efforts, highlighted by the gritty performance from sophomore Galileo Cabrales. Entering the NCAA DI-heavy event as one of the lower seeds in flight two, Cabrales came out of the gate on fire and defeated NCAA DI Prairie View A&M's Ulrich Boyogueno 8-2 in the opening round to advance to the quarterfinals for a matchup against the top-seeded Elio Lago from Louisiana Lafayette. Despite the odds being against him, Cabrales stunned the top-seeded Lago 8-5 to move on to the semifinals where he ran into the Ragin Cajuns' No. 4 seed Nico Sojka. It was a back-and-forth battle for the duration of the match but the higher seeded Sojka would eventually come out on top 8-4 to send Cabrales into the third-place match against ULL's Pierce Gilheany. The underdog once again, Cabrales managed to take down Gilheany (his third victory over a NCAA DI opponent on the day) 8-4 to claim third place in the flight, a grouping that would eventually be won by No. 2-seeded Mikhail Esipov from USM.
Other notable individual Wolf Pack performances on the day included freshman Tiger Cheung (FR/Hong Kong) earning his first two collegiate victories and Ernesto de Diego (SR/Panama City, Panama) and Brandon Abdella (SO/Broussard, La.) both notching wins in the singles consolation bracket. In doubles, the duo of Cheung and de Diego pushed a talented duo from Xavier to the brink in a 7-6 defeat while Cabrales and Abdella teamed up to rout a team from PVAMU 6-1 in the back draw grouping.
Loyola returns to the courts on October 12 to participate in the three-day UWF Spring Fling hosted by the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Fla.