SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Lipscomb men’s tennis team saw their season come to an end on Friday with a 4-1 loss to USC-Upstate at the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament.
“Honestly, our guys battled like they have all year,” Lipscomb head coach Mario Hernandez said. “They came up against a tough team in USC-Upstate.
“We’ve got to give them credit. I don’t feel like anybody could have left anything else out there.”
Making their first appearance in the tournament in three years, the Bisons were unable to recover after dropping the doubles point.
Lipscomb (8-13, 2-5) was able to pick up a win at the second doubles line as Rob Mitchell and John Tougher defeated Jamie Yates and Rajanvir Dharni 6-3. The Spartans were able to pull out wins at the other lines, however, to pick up the point.
Upstate (8-13, 4-3) kept the momentum going into singles play, dropping just one match.
Fresh off of being named to the All-Conference Second Team, Alejandro Manzanares picked up the lone Bison win. The sophomore was able to cruise to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Ankush Arora.
After wins at the fourth and sixth lines, the Spartans were able to clinch the match with Ramon Simonetti’s 6-0, 6-4 win over Mitchell at the top spot.
Tougher’s final match with the Bisons went unfinished in the second set. Hernandez said Tougher has made a significant impact on the culture of the program.
“Losing John will be hard,” Hernandez said. “He has been such a great leader for the guys. He really set the standard for how guys need to compete. He has shown our guys what it takes on and off the court.
The progress that his team made is also a testament to the culture change the program experienced this season.
“This season has been a positive,” Hernandez said. “We had a bad season last year and that was in the back of everyone's minds.
“The things that defined our season were character and heart. We got through the season because of those. And these guys competed like crazy.”
USC-Upstate 4 – Lipscomb 1
1. Ramon Simonetti/Ankush Arora (UPST) def. Philippe Courteau/Alejandro Manzanares (LIP) 6-2
2. John Tougher/Rob Mitchell (LIP) def. Jamie Yates/Raj Dharni (UPST) 6-3
3. Ignacio Garrido/Matt Bennion (UPST) def. Daniel Cardenas/Thais Minet (LIP) 6-1
1. Ramon Simonetti (UPST) def. Rob Mitchell (LIP) 6-0, 6-4
2. Alejandro Manzanares (LIP) def. Ankush Arora (UPST) 6-2, 6-2
3. Jamie Yates (UPST) vs. Philippe Courteau (LIP) 6-3, 2-5 DNF
4. Lenhard Haupt (UPST) def. Daniel Cardenas (LIP) 6-3, 6-3
5. Ignacio Garrido (UPST) vs. John Tougher 6-4, 3-3 DNF
6. Rajanvir Dharni (UPST) def. Kauai Linardi (LIP) 6-4, 6-0