NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A 5-2 win over NJIT secured a spot for the Lipscomb men’s tennis team’s conference tournament on Saturday.
Lipscomb (7-11, 1-4) jumped out to the early point lead Saturday at Huston-Marsh-Griffith Tennis Center with strong doubles play before taking four of the six singles matches.
After some tough conference losses in recent weeks, Lipscomb head coach Mario Hernandez saw the determination of his guys to get the win.
“I saw a lot of guts from the guys because we’ve had some tough losses,” Hernandez said. “I think that was weighing on their minds as they went out today.
“It got to the point we weren’t sure why it wasn’t coming together for us. The only thing you can do is battle through those matches.”
The Bisons used 6-4 wins at the second and third lines to give themselves the doubles point advantage.
At the second line, John Tougher and Rob Mitchell teamed up to defeat Arnaud Holl and Zac Castagna.
Daniel Cardenas and Thais Minet followed suit at the third line to defeat Jan Cimrman and Lukas Zvikas.
The Bisons kept the momentum going into singles, dropping just two matches.
At the top spot, Rob Mitchell got back to his winning ways with a 6-1, 6-0 over Cimrman.
Cardenas picked up his second straight singles win with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Zvikas at the fourth spot.
On his Senior Day, John Tougher slid up to the fifth spot and gained a 6-2, 6-4 win over Richard Rangga.
On a day with a lot of excitement for the Bisons, Hernandez was happy to send Tougher out with a highlight.
“John really stepped up,” Hernandez said. “For him to lead the team that way, not just vocally but with his play too, was big.”
To round out the Lipscomb win, Kauai Linardi was able to bounce back after dropping a set to defeat Zac Castanga in three sets 4-6, 6-4, (10-6).
While happy to be in the conference tournament for the first time in three years, the Bisons will look to continue their momentum as they close out the regular season next week.
The Bisons travel to Kennesaw State Saturday, April 16, with hopes of improving their seeding for the tournament.
“We want to make sure we keep getting better,” Hernandez said. “We want to make sure we give ourselves the best seed possible. The job’s not done by any stretch.”
Lipscomb 5 – NJIT 2
- Alejandro Manzanares/Philippe Courteau (LIP) vs. Andres Alban/Richard Rangga (NJIT) 5-5, unfinished
- Rob Mitchell/John Tougher (LIP) def. Arnaud Holl/Zac Castanga (NJIT) 6-4
- Daniel Cardenas/Thais Minet (LIP) Jan Cimrman/Lukas Zvikas (NJIT) 6-4
- Rob Mitchell (LIP) def. Jan Cimrman (NJIT) 6-1, 6-0
- Andres Alban (NJIT) def. Alejandro Manzanares (LIP) 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
- Arnaud Holl (NJIT) def. Philippe Courteau (LIP) 6-4, 6-3
- Daniel Cardenas (LIP) def. Lukas Zvikas (NJIT) 6-2, 7-5
- John Tougher (LIP) def. Richard Rangga (NJIT) 6-2, 6-4
- Kauai Linardi (LIP) Zac Castanga (NJIT) 4-6, 6-4, (10-6)