NASHVILLE, Tenn. –The Lipscomb men’s team fell 4-3 to Tennessee Tech in a tough match Friday at the Richland Tennis Club.
“The guys fought extremely hard today against a tough Tennessee Tech team,” Lipscomb men’s tennis coach Mario Hernandez said. “I’m proud of everyone for that. We know though that it is not good enough and we have to keep pushing to get better.”
With only five healthy players the Bisons had to give up a doubles and a singles match by default.
Lipscomb’s pair of Miguel Cortez and Stuart Tierney at No. 1 doubles lost to TTU’s Alex Arovin and Alberto Esteban, 8-6.
At No. 2 doubles LU’s Daniel Hernandez and Rob Mitchell defeated TTU’s Artem Tarasov and Vadily Ermeev (8-5).
The Bisons gave away a doubles match by default to TTU’s pair of Alvaro Cintas and Gagan Jain.
At No. 1 singles, Tierney lost in straight sets against TTU’s Alex Arovin. (6-2, 6-0).
“Tennessee Tech is a good team and they came out and played well,” Tierney said. “If we could have had three doubles teams and six singles then the outcome would have been very different. Unfortunately that is the way things are.”
Freshman Rob Mitchell, who has a record of 4-1 this season in singles, added another victory by defeating Esteban (6-0, 6-3).
“I was very consistent,” Mitchell said. “ I used my serve as my main strength but to be honest, I felt I could have been much more aggressive and didn’t feel that my forehand was on point but I made do with making him play and it worked.”
Cortez at No. 3 and Hernandez at No. 4 defeated TTU’s Eremeev and Cintas.
Cortez played with a combination of strategic variation shots to down Eremeev.
Hernandez simply played an aggressive game to overpower his opponent, Cintas.
“I was not consistent as I expected and as I should be,“ Cortez said. “I played against a really tricky player. I just keep making shot after shot and believing in my shots.”
Despite the setbacks and obstacles Hernandez is not discouraged.
“I think our confidence is growing and we are getting better as we move towards conference,” Hernandez said. “It’s a good sign.”
David Salazar, who usually plays at No.1 for LU was out due to injury but was there on court to support his teammates.
“The team competed and fought really well with all the odds against them and only five players,” Salazar said. “It is crucial to have full squad.
“Seeing from the outside looking in definitely gave me a different perspective. It made me realize how important it is having high energy and pumping up your teammates that are playing on your side.”
Salazar is hopeful he can be ready to play in another week.
Nacor Ibanez lost to TTU’s Gagan Jain 6-4, 6-1.
The men will face Ball State on March 8 at 2 p.m. at home.
1. Oleksiy Arovin (TTU) def. Stuart Tierney (LU) 6-2, 6-0
2. Rob Mitchell (LU) def. Alberto Esteban (TTU) 6-0, 6-3
3. Miguel Cortez (LU) def. Vasily Eremeev (TTU) 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (5)
4. Daniel Hernandez (LU) def. Alvaro Cintas (TTU) 7-6(4), 6-1
5. Gagan Jain (TTU) def. Nacor Ibanez (LU) 6-4, 6-1
6. Artem Tarasov (TTU) won by default.
1. Arovin/ Esteban (TTU) def. Tierney / Cortez (LU) 8-6
2. Hernandez/ Mitchell (LU) def. Eremeev/Tarasov (TTU) 8-5
3. Cintas/ Jain (TTU) won by default.