"A slow start in doubles cost the guys the pivotal doubles point, and we could not pull through in 4 singles matches,” men’s assistant coach Mike Sherman said. “The men played hard, but this was a tough loss to swallow. The guys have learned that they need to come out fired up from the beginning so that they can set the tempo. We will be ready for the next match."
The Bisons lost the doubles point 2-1 to start the match with a 1-0 deficit.
Freshman Oliver Strecker and senior Joe McArdle posted the Bisons’ only doubles win at No. 1 with an 8-3 victory over Njal Stene and Chris Swanteson.
Sophomore Colby Shaw and freshman Miguel Cortez fell just shy of the win, losing in a tiebreaker at No. 2 to Cesare Gallo and Didrik Berg 9-8(8).
Sophomore Tanner Brown and freshman David Salazar fell at No. 3 to Alex Hackett and Hans Riseng 8-6.
Already behind 1-0 heading into singles, the Bisons could not overcome Stetson’s early lead, only picking up three of the six singles matches.
Strecker posted the first of the Bisons’ singles victories, winning at No. 1 over Maksim Levanovich 6-3, 6-4.
At No. 2, junior Chad Pierron was defeated by Gallo 6-4, 6-3. Salazar posted another win for the Bisons at No. 3 with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Stene.
Brown fell at No. 4 to Berg 6-1, 6-1, while Cortez lost to Hackett at No. 5 6-3, 6-2.
Shaw posted the Bisons’ final win at No. 6 with a three set victory over Riseng 5-7, 6-0, 10-2.
The Bisons will continue their spring break action on Saturday, March 19 when they face Florida Gulf Coast.
“This will be another big week for both teams,” coach Andrew Harris said. “After going to ETSU this weekend, we were certainly grounded in understanding what we need to continue to improve on heading into the next couple of matches."
On the men’s side, after losing to ETSU, their conference record fell to 2-1. The opponents they will face over break will pose another strong challenge for the Bisons. While Stetson ranked No. 2 in the pre-season poll, finishing last season 8-2 in the A-Sun conference, FGCU will offer a strong challenge as well.
The Bisons pulled out a 4-3 win over FGCU last season.
“We told our men's team all week long going into the ETSU match that if they played to their capability they would be in position to win matches,” Harris said. “Unfortunately though, we did not do what was needed in those situations, and ETSU rose to their game."
Harris thinks the continued growth of his Bisons’ team will be reflected by how they do on the Florida trip.
Oliver Strecker and Joe McArdle (LU) def. Njal Stene and Chris Swanteson (SU) 8-3
Cesare Gallo and Didrik Berg (SU) def. Colby Shaw and Miguel Cortez (LU) 9-8(8)
Alex Hackett and Hans A. Riseng (SU) def. Tanner Brown and David Salazar (LU) 8-6
Oliver Strecker (LU) def. Maksim Levanovich (SU) 6-3, 6-4
Cesare Gallo (SU) def. Chad Pierron (LU) 6-4, 6-3
David Salazar (LU) def. Njal Stene (SU) 6-3, 7-5
Didrik Berg (SU) def. Tanner Brown (LU) 6-1, 6-1
Alex Hackett (SU) def. Miguel Cortez (LU) 6-3, 6-2
Colby Shaw (LU) def. Hans A. Riseng (SU) 5-7, 6-0, 10-2
Written by Ashlan Williams, student assistant in Lipscomb athletics media relations.