JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – The Lipscomb men’s tennis team can’t seem to buy a break.
Following back-to-back victories over Gardner-Webb and Austin Peay three weeks ago, the Bisons have now lost five straight matches, the latest being a 4-3 loss at Jacksonville State (8-1) on Saturday. It was Lipscomb’s first outdoor match of the spring season.
Four of the Bisons’ five losses during the streak have in narrow, 4-3 defeats. However, the day was not without its bright spots.
“It’s frustrating because we’ve been so close,” Hernandez said of the losing streak. “There was some silver lining today. We had dropped our level in doubles, but we got the doubles point (against Jacksonville State).”
The doubles teams of Alejandro Manzanares/Victor Chaw and Jorge Ortegon/Francesco Tacconi picked up victories to clinch the doubles point. Hernandez swapped Tacconi and senior Daniel Cardenas in an effort to spread experience to all three doubles teams.
“We want to feel confident in all three teams,” Hernandez said. “The freshman are learning the system more and more, but we’re going to play around with (the pairings)."
Manzanares later topped Jacksonville State’s Alijaz Kaplja (7-6, 4-6, 6-3) for his third singles win of the spring season. Freshman Pedro Uribe also picked up a win in the No. 6 spot with a 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 defeat of Jacksonville State junior Andres Gomez.
“Alejandro is going now,” Hernandez said. “He needed some time to adjust to the No. 1 spot. He’ll never say it, but he’s playing well. With him and Victor (Chaw) in the top two spots, we can compete with anybody.”
Lipscomb (2-6) is slated to have the rest of its matches and practices outdoors this season, weather permitting.
“We’re excited to be back outside,” Hernandez said. “We need a little bit more time. I think our best tennis is ahead of us, because we are definitely an outdoor team.”
Jacksonville State 4, Lipscomb 3
- Alejandro Manzanares (LIPM) def. KAPLJA, Aljaz (MJSU) 7-6, 4-6, 6-3
- CAFFARENA, Pablo (MJSU) def. Victor Chaw (LIPM) 6-1, 6-3
- VALLEJO, Joaquin (MJSU) def. Jorge Ortegon (LIPM) 6-4, 6-2
- AGOST, Guillermo (MJSU) def. Daniel Cardenas (LIPM) 6-4, 6-4
- LIZARRAGA, Sergio (MJSU) def. Francesco Tacconi (LIPM) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
- Pedro Uribe (LIPM) def. GOMEZ, Andres (MJSU) 2-6, 7-5, 6-2
- Alejandro Manzanares/Victor Chaw (LIPM) def. KAPLJA, Aljaz/VALLEJO, Joaquin (MJSU) 7-6
- Jorge Ortegon/Francesco Tacconi (LIPM) def. CAFFARENA, Pablo/LIZARRAGA, Sergio (MJSU) 7-5
- GOMEZ, Andres/AGOST, Guillermo (MJSU) def. Daniel Cardenas/Pedro Uribe (LIPM) 6-4
Lipscomb was slated to take on Mercer on Sunday, but the match was postponed due to expected rainfall. The Bisons will instead play the Bears on Sunday, March 25 in Macon, Georgia.
After a few days off, the Bisons host Belmont next Friday, March 2 for another installment of the Battle of the Boulevard. The match is set for 11 a.m. at thhe Huston-Marsh-Griffith Tennis Center.
“The Battle of the Boulevard is always a really fun match,” Hernandez said. “We have to keep learning and improving. We have the pieces in place, we just need to put it all together.”