NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Without checking the Lipscomb men’s tennis roster, few would assume that recent Italian import Francesco Tacconi is just a freshman.
That’s because Tacconi performed like a seasoned veteran on Thursday afternoon, pulling out a decisive third set over USC Upstate’s Lucas Percy to power the Bisons to a 4-3 victory at the Huston-Marsh-Griffith Tennis Center.
The win, which came in the No. 6 singles slot, clinched Lipscomb’s spot in next week’s ASUN tournament.
“I think this was one of the best moments of my life,” Tacconi said. “Seeing the eyes of my teammates run to me (after the final point) was something special. After a lot of losses, this was a great win for the team.”
Tacconi dropped the first set, but he did not back down. After each of the other five singles matches had been decided, all eyes went to the freshman on Court 5. He then won a tiebreaker to take the second set by a score of 7-6, before coasting to a 6-2 win in the final set.
“He’s been in that position and lost it a handful of times,” Hernandez said. “He hasn’t quit this year, and he came up with a big one when we needed it most.”
Lipscomb freshman Pedro Uribe also came through with a 6-4, 6-3 victory in the No. 5 spot.
“Any good program is going to be bottom-heavy,” Hernandez said. “Everyone has good guys at the top, and those matches can go either way. It’s about that No. 5 and No. 6, you’ve got to have the depth.”
Lipscomb’s other singles victory came from sophomore Victor Chaw, who took a 6-2, 6-4 win over Francisco Neto to improve his overall record to 13-4.
The Bisons improved to 7-11 overall (2-3 ASUN), while USC Upstate fell to 5-18 overall (0-5 ASUN) and was eliminated form ASUN tournament contention.
Thursday, April 12: Lipscomb 4, USC Upstate 3
- Felix Ewers (USC) def. Alejandro Manzanares (LIP) 6-3, 6-4
- Victor Chaw (LIP) def. Francisco Neto (USC) 6-2, 6-4
- Fernando Bernardes (USC) def. Jorge Ortegon (LIP) 6-4, 6-3
- Luka Eble (USC) def. Daniel Cardenas (LIP) 6-3, 6-3
- Pedro Uribe (LIP) def. Ignacio Garrido (USC) 6-4, 6-3
- Francesco Tacconi (LIP) def. Lucas Percy (USC) 5-7, 7-6, 6-2
- Alejandro Manzanares/Victor Chaw (LIP) def. Ignacio Garrido/Francisco Neto (USC) 6-3
- Jorge Ortegon/Francesco Tacconi (LIP) def. Fernando Bernardes/ Lucas Percy (USC) 6-2
- Daniel Cardenas/Pedro Uribe (LIP) vs. Luka Eble/Felix Ewers (USC) 5-3 unfinished
The Bisons have a quick turnaround as the NJIT match has been moved up to Friday due to the forecasted rain for Saturday. The match with the Highlanders is slated for a 3 p.m. start at the Huston-Marsh-Griffith Tennis Center. Manzanares and Cardenas will be honored during pre-game Senior Day ceremony.
Lipscomb can finish as high as fourth place and as low as sixth, depending on the final conference results.
“If the guys can’t get pumped for (Friday), then they shouldn’t be playing college tennis,” Hernandez said. “We’ve got to have a winner’s mentality and go for it.”