NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Battle of the Boulevard hit the tennis court Friday, as the Lipscomb men’s tennis team squared off with Belmont inside Richland Country Club. The Bisons continued their winning ways, taking a 5-2 victory over their rival.
Lipscomb (4-2) came out firing, taking two of the doubles matches to secure the doubles point.
“The doubles point was huge,” head coach Mario Hernandez said. “The one and two guys came out firing.”
The one and two guys Hernandez is talking about are the teams of Philippe Courteau and Alex Pavel and John Tougher and Rob Mitchell.
Courteau and Pavel defeated Mauricio Antun and Marko Lovrinovic 6-1 while Tougher and Mitchell pulled out a 6-3 victory over Cedric Dujacquier and Robin Demasse.
It marks the fifth-consecutive match Lipscomb has won the doubles point and it is proving to be key to its success.
“We tell the guys to play free and with intensity and they do,” Hernandez said. “They’ve never come out and played without that intensity.”
The top seeded match in singles was the lone match to go three sets. Belmont’s (4-2) Antun pulled it out with a 6-2, 6-7, 6-0 score, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort from Mitchell.
Hernandez noted that Mitchell was noticeably sick during the match and considered pulling him out, but he continued to fight.
“Even with the loss, he fought,” Hernandez said. “He’s been a great example. He deserves a lot of credit.”
The bottom half of the Bisons’ lineup stepped up to win a tough match, with the three through six guys all securing wins.
Alejandro Manzanares defeated Dujacquier in a close third seed match, (7-5, 6-4). Courteau topped Demasse 6-3, 6-2.
Daniel Hernandez pulled out a 6-4, 7-6(3) win over Bruno Russo. At the six spot, Thais Minet defeated Geoff Tulloch 6-1, 6-3.
Mario Hernandez compared this Belmont team to the Xavier team the Bisons faced and fell to earlier in the season. He was proud of his team for defeating a team of that level this time around.
“That’s one of the tougher teams we’ve played,” Mario Hernandez said. “They showed maturity to win a tough match.”
The Bisons will try to rest and recover before facing Tennessee Tech Saturday at 6 p.m. at Richland Country Club.
“We’ll make sure our bodies are taken care of and then keep doing what we’re doing because it’s obviously working,” said Mario Hernandez.
Lipscomb 5- Belmont 2
1.Philippe Courteau/ Alex Pavel (Lip.) def. Mauricio Antun/Marko Lovrinovic (Bel.) 6-1
2.John Tougher/Rob Mitchell (Lip.) def. Cedric Dujacquier/Robin Demasse (Bel.) 6-3
3.Bruno Russo/Caio Niel (Bel.) def. Daniel Hernandez/Thais Minet (Lip.) 6-4
1. Mauricio Antun (Bel.) def. Rob Mitchell (Lip.) 6-2, 6-7, 6-0
2. Marko Lovrinovic (Bel) def. Alex Pavel (Lip.) 7-5, 6-3
3. Alejandro Manzanares (Lip.) def. Cedric Dujacquier (Bel.) 7-5, 6-4
4. Philippe Courteau (Lip.) def. Robin Demasse (Bel.) 6-3, 6-2
5. Daniel Hernandez (Lip.) def. Bruno Russo (Bel.) 6-4, 7-6(3)
6. Thais Minet (Lip.) def. Geoff Tulloch (Bel.) 6-1, 6-3