By Todd Lamberth
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Lipscomb men’s tennis team traveled to Birmingham, Alabama and played host Samford Saturday night, falling in the match 4-3.
The Bisons came out strong, securing an early doubles point.
Playing in the two spot, John Tougher and Rob Mitchell defeated Henry Moore and Austin Akers 6-2.
As the three seeds, Daniel Hernandez and Thais Minet pulled out a 7-6(8-6) victory over Fares Kilani and Eduardo Lourido Sanchez to secure the doubles point.
The Bisons had some time off to work on their game before coming into this match and head coach Mario Hernandez wanted his team to get back to the doubles play that they displayed earlier in the season.
“During our time off we really wanted to get back to the doubles form that we started the season with,” Mario Hernandez said. “We started the season playing well in doubles and lost our last two matches so we wanted to get back that form.”
Lipscomb (5-3) got strong play from the top of the singles lineup, winning the top two seeded matches.
At the one seed, Mitchell defeated Kilani in a tough three setter, 6-7(0), 6-1, 6-4.
Alejandro Manzanares played as the two seed and defeated Akers 6-4, 6-4.
“Both guys were up against good competition and got big wins,” Mario Hernandez said. “They executed their games and got the ball rolling where we thought we could win the match.”
However, that would be the end of the Bison’s momentum, as Samford (2-4) would take the final four matches.
Alex Pavel played in the three spot and played a tight three setter against Trev Carter. Pavel took the first set but Carter would bounce back to take the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The fifth-seed match would also see a back and forth three setter as Lipscomb’s Daniel Hernandez played Lourido Sanchez. Lourido Sanchez took the first set 6-3, but Hernandez would bounce back to take the second set 6-3. In the end, Lourido Sanchez outlasted Hernandez for the 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory.
“Both teams fought hard and that’s just the way it goes sometimes,” Mario Hernandez said. “Our guys fought extremely hard.”
The Bisons take the court again in Birmingham Sunday afternoon as they take on No. 29 Kentucky at 2 p.m. Coach Hernandez wants his team to forget about the close loss and focus on the opportunity they have.
“We told the guys to not hang their heads,” Mario Hernandez said. “We have a great opportunity for a big win. We have to go in believing we can win.”
Samford 4 – Lipscomb 3
1. Trev Carter/Justin Ghavami (Sam.) def. Philippe Courteau/Alex Pavel (Lip.) 6-3
2. Rob Mitchell/John Tougher (Lip.) def. Henry Moore/Austin Akers (Sam.) 6-2
3. Daniel Hernandez/Thais Minet (Lip.) def. Fares Kilani/Eduardo Lourido Sanchez 7-6(8-6)
1. Rob Mitchell (Lip.) def. Fares Kilani (Sam.) 6-7(0), 6-1, 6-4
2. Alejandro Manzanares (Lip.) def. Austin Akers (Sam.) 6-4, 6-4
3. Trev Carter (Sam.) def. Alex Pavel (Lip.) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
4. Justin Ghavami (Sam.) def. Philippe Courteau (Lip.) 7-6(5), 6-2
5. Eduardo Lourido Sanchez (Sam.) def. Daniel Hernandez (Lip.) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
6. Jake Faundez (Sam.) def. John Tougher (Lip.) 6-2, 7-6(4)