ATHENS, Ga. – The Lipscomb men’s tennis team opened its 2018 fall season over the weekend at the 51st annual Southern Intercollegiate in Athens, Georgia.
The first weekend of action saw the Bisons face some of the strongest competition they will see all season, but it gave 2nd-year head coach Geoff Hernandez plenty of things to be proud of.
“This weekend was under some tough conditions for our team,” Hernandez said. “It is early in the year and we’ve only had a couple of practices, but we put them in one of the strongest events in the region.
“I thought they did a great job responding and improving each day, and that’s all I wanted to see.”
It was the doubles pairing of Victor Chaw and Pablo Caffarena that shined for the Bisons as the duo finished 3-1 on the weekend. After taking each of the first three matches by a score of 8-6, the juniors advanced to the quarterfinals where they were edged 8-7 (4) by Georgia’s No. 2 doubles tandem of Jan Zielinski and Robert Loeb.
“I thought Pablo and Victor did a great job in doubles this weekend as they almost beat the No. 2 team from Georgia,” Hernandez said. “They really clicked as a team with no practice together. I am very happy with what I saw from them.”
Junior Jorge Ortegon and senior George Wong each had strong showings with 2-1 marks in singles action and a 1-1 tally in doubles. Ortegon took down Davide Innocenti of UNC Wilmington (4-6, 6-3, 6-4) and Sebastian Osorio of Kennesaw State (6-3, 7-6 (5)).
Wong, playing in the third division of the Intercollegiate, knocked off Gardner-Webb’s Jacob Wall (6-4, 6-4) and Appalachian State’s Blake Carter (6-3, 6-3) to advance to the semifinals. He eventually was knocked off by FAU’s Luis Fernandes Labarta, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
Sophomore David Skrabut beat UGA’s Sam Dromsky (6-4, 6-2) before falling (7-5, 3-6, 2-6) in the quarterfinals.
“Jorge and George did a fantastic job in singles, and David had one of the better matches of his career,” Hernandez said. “I think everyone it was a great learning experience for everyone.”
While Lipscomb finished just 9-13 in singles play between eight individuals in Athens, those same Bisons went 12-6 in doubles action.
“I think that this team is really close and the chemistry is strong,” Hernandez said. “We now know what we need to work on after having one big tournament under our belts.
“The goal was to see where our guys were at and make adjustments. The fall is developmental for us and we have to stick with it and get better.”
The Bisons are back in action next weekend at the Commodore Scramble hosted by Vanderbilt. They will be on the courts Friday – Sunday, giving fans a great opportunity to check out the team.
“Jorge Ortegon, Pedro Uribe, Pablo Caffarena and Francesco Tacconni will be the only ones playing at Vanderbilt next weekend,” Hernandez said.