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Samaha Leads MSU Tennis At River Forest Invitational

MSU Athletics

Sophomore Giovanni Samaha won his singles flight and teamed with freshman Gabriel Ruiz to win a consolation doubles draw as the Morehead State men's tennis team opened the fall schedule this weekend at the River Forest Invitational near Chicago.

Morehead State collected 10 victories during the two-day event played on clay courts. Sophomore Nick Mercer tallied a pair of wins in the No. 5 singles consolation draw to claim that prize.

Samaha won all three singles matches in the No. 3 draw to claim the individual title. He opened with a 6-2, 7-5 triumph over Yehia El Sallaly of Saint Louis. In the next round, he rallied to oust Northern Illinois' Fred Cadiux, 1-6, 6-3, 12-10. He won the flight in straight sets over Isaac Lloveras of Illinois-Chicago, 6-2, 6-4.

Samaha and Ruiz, who played in his first collegiate tournament, fell in their opening doubles match but responded with two victories in the back draw. They finished with an 8-6 decision over HenrikClaesson and Cedric Dujacquier of Ohio Valley Conference foe Belmont. Ruiz also collected his first singles win, notching a 7-5, 6-3 tally in the back draw against NichadBalachandran of Saint Louis.

Mercer defeated Miguel Flores of Saint Louis, 6-1, 6-0 and then put away UIC's Carl Hedstrom, 6-4, 6-4, in his final singles action.

The Eagles' top player in the lineup, senior JiHoonHeo, fell in straight sets in the opening singles round, but he regrouped for a 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) win against Michael Baiocchi of Valparaiso in the back draw. Senior David Clifford grabbed a singles win as well, edging SLU's Vic Poledica, 7-6, 7-6, in the consolation rounds.

Morehead State is back in action on October 4-6 at the Northern Kentucky Invitational.