"Tristan and Pat were phenomenal today," said SIUE men's tennis Head Coach Jason Coomer. "Our focus was trying not to be perfect but to simply execute and perform at the level we knew we were capable of. If we did that we could live with the result. Knocking off teams from the Big Ten and the SEC in one day was certainly nice to see. In both matches, it was clear that Tristan and Pat were the best team on the court."
Gaffigan and Houle began the tournament with an 8-1 win over Minnesota's Jesse Sprinkel and Justyn Levin. They followed that performance up with an 8-7 (7-3) win over host Arkansas' Johan den Toom and William Albanese.
"It's great to have SIUE represented in the Round of 16 in doubles and a testament of the hard work and focus our team has had this fall," said Coomer. "We will look to come out tomorrow in both singles and doubles and play a disciplined style understanding that execution is the most important thing. If we execute we will take our chances with anyone."
"Nico got back to his old ways today grinding out a three set win," said Coomer. "It was good to see him trusting himself in the second set playing the way that he is fully capable of. We need Nico to continue this confident play tomorrow and throughout the season.
"Jack had a few situations today where he could have let the pressure get the best of him," added Coomer. "But each time he found a way to fight through it and got the result that he deserved."
The next round of doubles is Saturday followed by two rounds on Sunday with the title match scheduled for Monday.
"Day two is always a challenge as you know your competition is only going to get stronger and stronger," said Coomer.