LAKELAND – Alexandr Rudenco prevailed in a three-set win over Florida Southern's Laurent Mailloux to lift Bluefield State to a 5-4 win here Sunday at the Warden Tennis Center, snapping the Moccasins' three-game win streak. Rudenco edged Mailloux, 7-6 (10-8), 0-6, 6-2.
Florida Southern, which had won three in a row and seven of its last eight, falls to 7-4 on the season, while Bluefield State, ranked second in the Atlantic Region, improves to 6-1.
"You live and die by the sword," said FSC head coach Trey Heath, "Today, the sword was getting down 2-1 in doubles again. Bluefield is a very gritty team. Just a tough day at the office."
Bluefield State's number three doubles team of Rudenco and Platon Gud topped the Mocs' squad of Fabian Lundberg and Oscar Soderlund by a 8-3 tally. The Mocs evened the match when Jose de Sario and Brian Slivonik posted an 8-4 win over Anthony Braem and Ignacio Pulido at number two doubles. The Big Blues' number one duo of Jacob Carey and Aziz Yuldashev beat the Mocs' team of Mailloux and Migeul Alvarez-Hevia, 8-5, to put the Mocs' in the 2-1 hole after doubles.
Florida Southern then opened singles play with two wins as Lundberg topped Cary, 6-3, 6-2 at number while de Sario defeated Braem, 6-2, 6-3, at number two as the Moccasins took a 3-2 lead.
Bluefield State answered with a win by Yuldashev at number four, downing Florida Southern's Alvarez-Hevia, 6-4, 6-4, while Pulido won out over Soderlund, 6-5, 7-5, at number six, setting up the Rudenco/Mailloux battle. Slivonik took the Mocs' final point, coming from behind to take a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) win over Platon Gud at number five.
Florida Southern will play next on Tuesday, March 15 at 2 p.m. at home against Wayne State of Michigan.