NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For Lipscomb’s Daniel Cardenas and Alejandro Manzanares, Friday’s match against NJIT represented their final opportunity to play at the Huston-Marsh-Griffith Tennis Center.
The duo made the most of it, and, along with singles victories from Victor Chaw and Pedro Uribe, the Bisons squeaked past NJIT with a 4-3 win. Lipscomb capped the regular season with an 8-11 overall record (3-3 ASUN).
“The guys who won today did a really good job of battling,” coach Geoff Hernandez said. “We’re starting to get there, and the fact that we gutted out this win was huge."
Cardenas and Manzanares both lost their matches on Thursday in a narrow, 4-3 win over USC Upstate. This time around, the seniors were not to be outdone in their final home match.
Manzanares downed NJIT’s Tom Antoljak 6-4, 6-2 in the No. 1 spot, while Cardenas defeated Abdullah Fouad 7-5, 6-1 in the No. 4 spot.
“They both were really unhappy with their performance against Upstate,” Hernandez said. “They played a high level today, and I’m proud of them for that. They brought it and finished like champions in their last home match.”
Chaw continued his stellar season with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Jan Cimrman. The sophomore is now 14-4 on the season in singles play.
Uribe’s 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (10-4) victory over Zac Castagna clinched the match for the Bisons, setting off a wild celebration on Court 5.
“Pedro is tough,” Hernandez said. “He was resilient throughout the season. He’s playing better and his game has improved so much this year, especially on the mental side.”
In doubles, the team of Chaw and Manzanares emerged with a 6-2 victory to improve their overall record to 12-3.
Friday, April 13: Lipscomb 4, NJIT 3
- Alejandro Manzanares (LIP) def. Tomi Antoljak (NJIT) 6-4, 6-2
- Victor Chaw (LIP) def. Jan Cimrman (NJIT) 6-3, 6-3
- Lukas Zvikas (NJIT) def. Jorge Ortegon (LIPM) 4-6, 7-6, 7-6
- Daniel Cardenas (LIP) def. Abdullah Fouad (NJIT) 7-5, 6-1
- Pedro Uribe (LIP) def. Zac Castagna (NJIT) 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (10-4)
- Richard Rangga (NJIT) def. Francesco Tacconi (LIP) 6-3, 6-3
- Alejandro Manzanares/Victor Chaw (LIP) def. Abdullah Fouad/Jan Cimrman (NJIT) 6-2
- Tomi Antoljak/Zac Castagna (NJIT) def. Jorge Ortegon/Francesco Tacconi (LIP) 6-4
- Richard Rangga/Aleksa Petrovic (NJIT) def. Daniel Cardenas/Pedro Uribe (LIP) 6-4
Lipscomb will begin its ASUN tournament run next Friday, April 20 against Kennesaw State in Jacksonville, Florida. The Bisons defeated the Owls by a score of 4-2 on March 24 in suburban Atlanta.
“These two wins this week were not by any means our best,” Hernandez said of the victories over USC Upstate and NJIT. “We’re going to adjust that for next week.”
After going 5-13 during the 2017 regular season, the Bisons topped Kennesaw State and Stetson to advance to the ASUN Championship, where they dropped a 4-2 battle to FGCU. This year’s team is looking to do the same after an improved regular season.
“You can’t predict what will happen in that conference tournament,” Hernandez said. “We’ve got to go after it one match at a time.”