FORT MYERS, Fla. - After making the tournament last season, the Lipscomb men’s tennis team was looking for more as they returned to the ASUN Tournament this year. They got more as they defeated third-seeded Kennesaw State 4-3 on Friday to advance to the second round.
This is Lipscomb’s first trip to the second round of the ASUN Championship since 2013.
The Bisons dropped the doubles point but were able to rally in singles play, taking the matches the top four lines to win the match.
With a season full of close losses, Bisons head coach Mario Hernandez was pleased to see his team have one go their way.
“It was a huge effort,” Hernandez said. “We've had so many close matches not go our way in conference this season and we've kept pushing to break through. This was a great display of perseverance by the boys and the coaching staff couldn't be prouder of this group.”
Following doubles play, first-team All-Conference selection Rob Mitchell got things started for Lipscomb in singles action. The senior cruised on his way to a 6-4, 6-0 win over the Owls’ Simon Pritchard at the top spot.
Playing at the fourth line, Daniel Cardenas picked up another two-set win as he defeated Lucas de Torres Curth 7-5, 7-5.
The last two points proved to be more difficult as they both went the full three sets.
After dropping the first set, All-Freshman selection Victor Chaw battled to even the match at three points apiece with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Sam Slade.
At the second line, second-team All-Conference selection Alejandro Manzanares was able to seal the win for the Bisons with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 win over Fermin Calvo Barcelo.
The win for the Bisons comes less than a week after they dropped a 5-2 decision to the Owls in Nashville. Hernandez feels that match played a big role in Friday’s win.
“(Assistant Coach) Geoff put together a great game plan for singles and doubles. Got to give him a lot of credit for that and especially the guys for executing the plan.”
Lipscomb moves on to face second-seeded Stetson at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Hatters won a 4-2 decision earlier this season in a match that was decided by two three-setters in singles play. Hernandez will look for those close losses to continue to push them.
“Our guys have been hungry for these moments and have had some heartbreakers,” Hernandez said. “I don't think anyone is going to be satisfied. We're hungry for more. The main message will be to not be satisfied. There's a lot more to play for.”
Lipscomb 4 – Kennesaw State 3
- Lucas de Torres Curth/Simon Pritchard (KSU) def. Alejandro Manzanares/Victor Chaw (LIP) 6-4
- Drew Wendel/David Durham (KSU) def. Rob Mitchell/Daniel Cardenas (LIP) 6-3
- Fermin Calvo Barcelo/Sam Slade def. Jorge Ortegon/Thais Minet (LIP) 7-5
- Rob Mitchell (LIP) def. Simon Pritchard (KSU) 6-4, 6-0
- Alejandro Manzanares (LIP) def. Fermin Calvo Barcelo (KSU) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
- Victor Chaw (LIP) def. Sam Slade (KSU) 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
- Daniel Cardenas (LIP) def. Lucas de Torres Curth (KSU) 7-5, 7-5
- Drew Wendel (KSU) def. Jorge Ortegon (LIP) 6-3, 6-3
- Jake Bouchillon (KSU) def. Thais Minet (LIP) 6-1, 6-1