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UH tennis team earns first NCAA tourney win


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POSTED: Saturday, May 09, 2009

Only one of the six singles matches went to three sets, but for the Hawaii men's tennis team, it was the one that counted.

Junior Andreas Weber won his marathon battle with Nathan Byrnes at No. 2 to lead the Rainbow Warriors to a 4-3 upset of No. 20 Oklahoma State in yesterday's opening round of the NCAA men's tennis championships at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Weber's 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-1 victory also gave No. 49 Hawaii its first NCAA tournament win.

The Rainbow Warriors (11-9) face host and seventh-ranked UCLA (18-4) today. The winner moves on to the round of 16. UCLA beat UH 6-1 earlier this season.

“;We're going for it tomorrow,”; UH coach John Nelson said. “;I told the guys from day one our goal was to win the WAC and go to the Sweet 16. We got the talent and now they're starting to believe it.

“;Andy showed a lot today. I told him, 'You win and we win today.' “;

After Oklahoma State took the doubles point, UH came back to win three of the next four singles matches. Highlighting the run was Sascha Heinemann winning his 13th straight, a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Mikhail Trukshanin.

Dennis Lajola extended Oleksandr Nedovyesov, the No. 2-ranked player in the country, to a tiebreaker in the second set before eventually falling 6-1, 7-6 (4).