NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Lipscomb men’s tennis team dropped its 2016 home opener in a tight 4-3 match to Tennessee Tech Saturday night at Richland Country Club.
After the Bisons pulled out the 4-3 win in last season matchup, Tennessee Tech came out firing to take the all-important doubles point.
Both the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams for the Golden Eagles secured 6-2 wins to give them the early point.
“The doubles point is always important in college tennis,” head coach Mario Hernandez said. “Tennessee Tech came out really well. I don’t think we came out bad, though. We’ve just got to keep working our doubles.”
Singles play was split at three apiece with all six matches being closely contested, including three matches needing more than two sets.
In the top-seeded matchup, Tech’s Eduardo Mena was able to battle back against Lipscomb’s Rob Mitchell. After Mitchell took the first set 6-3, Mena came back to take the next two sets and win the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
It also took three sets to decide a winner for the No. 2 seeds. Lipscomb once again got ahead as Alejandro Manzanares took the opening set 7-6. Alex Arovin battled back, however, to take the match 6-7, 6-2, 6-3 for TTU.
Philippe Courteau picked up a win for the Bisons in the third spot as he defeated Alberto Esteban 7-5, 7-6(4).
John Tougher and Kauai Linardi also picked up wins for the Bisons from the No. 5 and No. 6 spots, respectfully.
Tougher defeated Carlos Tejas in a third-set tiebreak to take the match 6-3, 0-6, (13-11), while Linardi topped Jorge Alfonzo in straight sets for the 6-3, 6-4.
Even with the loss, Hernandez was pleased with how well his team competed against Tennessee Tech.
“Tennessee Tech is a tough team,” Hernandez said. “Of course, we’d like to get the win, but I thought they handled themselves really well. Sometimes a point here and there is all that it takes to make the difference.”
Hernandez saw the close matches as a sign that his team was competing in the matches. He likes that his team is in the right situations, but wants to see them capitalize once they’re there.
“We’re putting ourselves in the situations to win,” said Hernandez. “I want them to keep playing their games but not pull back or hesitate. We train to play with confidence so we don’t hesitate.”
As the Bisons prepare for next week’s road trip at Georgia State and Alabama, Hernandez’s message will stay the same.
“We won’t have a change in approach. We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. We’re on the right path.”
Tennessee Tech 4 – Lipscomb 3
1.) Alex Arovin/Alberto Esteban (TTU) def. Alejandro Manzanares/Philippe Courteau (LIP) 6-2
2.) Nicolas Guillermo/Eduardo Mena (TTU) def. Rob Mitchell/Daniel Cardenas (LIP) 6-2
3.) John Tougher/Thais Minet (LIP) vs. Carlos Tejas/Jorge Alfonso (TTU) 4-3 (DNF)
1.) Eduardo Mena (TTU) def. Rob Mitchell (LIP) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
2.) Alex Arovin (TTU) def. Alejandro Manzanares (LIP) 6-7, 6-2, 6-3
3.) Philippe Courteau (LIP) def. Alberto Esteban (TTU) 7-5, 7-6(4)
4.) Nicolas Guillermo (TTU) def. Daniel Cardenas (LIP) 6-4, 6-3
5.) John Tougher (LIP) def. Carlos Tejas (TTU) 6-3, 0-6, (13-11)
6.) Kauai Linardi (LIP) def. Jorge Alfonso (TTU) 6-3, 6-4