WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – No. 49 Palm Beach Atlantic men’s tennis was unable to capitalize on a lead after doubles on Sunday, falling to No. 28 Rollins 5-4 in the final home match of the season for the Sailfish.
PBA (11-8, 1-5 SSC) entered singles with a 2-1 lead after doubles action. At the second spot Pato Zarazua and Pietro de Silva had the easiest time, downing Ziad Melhaoui and Daniel Ferl 8-3. Down at number three Philipp Hoffmann and Thomas Salmon came back from down 7-4 to pull out a 9-7 victory over Cody Gubin and Guilherme Dumit.
At the top doubles spot Rafael Lenz and Bernardo Ferreira just missed out on a comeback win of their own. The duo forced a tiebreak but Patrick Sell and Sami Kirberg pulled away to win 9-8 (7-3). That wound up being one of three matches the Sailfish came up just short in and ultimately giving the victory to the Tars (8-9, 2-3 SSC).
In singles Lenz and Hoffmann picked up wins in straight sets at two and three but it was the near misses that cost the ‘Fish. Lenz took down Francesco Racanelli 6-3, 6-1 while Hoffman won over Melhaoui 6-3, 6-0.
At number one Zarazua forced a third as did Salmon at number six but both Sailfish fell short in their comeback bids. Zarazua dropped the first to Sell 6-3 before winning the second 6-4. In the third it was Sell coming away with a 6-4 win. Down the lineup Salmon dropped the first to Gubin 6-2 before bouncing back with a 6-2 win of his own in the second. In the third Gubin was able to shutout Salmon 6-0 for the victory.
PBA will close out the regular season on Saturday at Florida Tech with a match set for a noon start. The ‘Fish will then advance to the Sunshine State Conference Tournament beginning on April 20 in Bradenton as all eight men’s team will make the tournament. PBA and FIT are currently tied for sixth in the conference standings.