NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Lipscomb men’s tennis will return to the ASUN Conference Championships for the second year in a row, despite falling 5-2 to Kennesaw State on Saturday afternoon.
The Bisons headed into Saturday’s contest at Huston-Marsh-Griffith Tennis Center needing a win or a loss by NJIT to USC-Upstate to clinch a spot in the conference tournament. With the Spartans 6-1 win over NJIT, the Bisons were able to clinch the sixth seed in next week’s tournament.
Lipscomb (5-13, 1-6) entered the season with a goal of getting back to the A-Sun Tournament, but head coach Mario Hernandez doesn’t want his team to just stop at getting there.
“This is our second year in a row to qualify, which is what we wanted,” Hernandez said. “Now it's up to us to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Saturday’s match followed a similar pattern to much of the season as the Bisons were competitive for much of the match but were unable to get some points to go their way.
“Both teams fought extremely hard but we came up a little short,” Hernandez said. “Fortunately, we have another opportunity at the conference tournament and have the chance to play with a clean slate.”
After taking the doubles point with 7-6 wins at both of the top two lines, the Bisons saw four of the singles matches go the full three sets.
The Owls, however, bounced back in singles play, winning all four of those three-set matches as well as the match at the fifth line. The Bisons lone win came as Daniel Cardenas was able to defeat Lucas de Torres Curth 6-1, 6-3.
The two teams will meet again in a week as the ASUN Tournament begins in Fort Myers, Florida on Friday. Hernandez knows his guys are ready to prove themselves in the tournament so he won’t be looking to change much heading into the rematch.
“We'll have to get guys healthy and fresh, but at this point of the season, you can only make minor adjustments,” Hernandez said. “I know we have quite a few guys that are hungry to prove themselves. We're hungry to prove ourselves as a team. This is the opportunity we want.”
Friday’s first round matchup is set to begin at 5 p.m.
Kennesaw State 5 – Lipscomb 2
- Alejandro Manzanares/Victor Chaw (LIP) def. Lucas de Torres Curth/Simon Pritchard (KSU) 7-6
- Rob Mitchell/Daniel Cardenas (LIP) def. David Durham/Drew Wendel (KSU) 7-6
- Fermin Calvo Barcelo/Sam Slade (KSU) def. Thais Minet/Jorge Ortegon (LIP) 6-2
- Simon Pritchard (KSU) def. Rob Mitchell (LIP) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6
- Fermin Calvo Barcelo (KSU) def. Alejandro Manzanares (LIP) 6-0, 4-6, 6-4
- Sam Slade (KSU) def. Victor Chaw (LIP) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
- Daniel Cardenas (LIP) def. Lucas de Torres Curth (KSU) 6-1, 6-3
- Drew Wendel (KSU) def. Thais Minet (LIP) 6-3, 6-0
- Jake Bouchillon (KSU) def. Jorge Ortegon (LIP) 7-5, 5-7, 6-4