Tech Tennis gets clean sweep of Panthers; win 7-0 on both sides

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Their names might both begin with the letter E, but Tennessee Tech senior Evgenia Yartseva came away with a win while visiting Eastern Illinois took home a pair of 7-0 losses to both Golden Eagle tennis teams.

"We played strong on both sides today," said coach Dan Silverstein. "We got both doubles points and did not look back from there."

The Tech women got a little boost as Eastern Illinois could only produce five players. The Golden Eagles got the forfiet wins at number three doubles and number six singles.

Sophomores Kelly Holtzhausen and Katie Barnhill took the first game of their number one doubles match and rode that to the 8-4 win.

The lone EIU win on the day came at number two doubles when Annie Egan and Shannon Brooks took a tough 8-6 decision from freshmen Tatiana Denezhkina and Alena Krutkina.

Holtzhausen gave Tech the 3-0 lead after picking up her 13th win of the spring, 6-1, 6-4 over Cara Huck. But it was Yartseva that clinched the win with her win.

"I was so happy that I won today," Yartseva said. "My teammates were cheering me on and that helped me so much."

Tech (6-7, 5-2 OVC) is in a tie for third place in the OVC after the win.

The Tech men's team got off to a slow start but picked it up after sweeping all three doubles matches against the Panthers.

The duo of sophomores Dean O'Brien and Josh Girling won at the top spot 9-7 after the pair of Oscar Pachon and Mario Gutierrez clinched the doubles point with a 9-8 (8-6) win at number three. The freshmen collaberation of Alex Chen and Justin Kirstein got Tech the first win in doubles with an 8-6 triumph.

Singles picked up right where doubles had left off for the Golden Eagles.

Eastern Illinois was only able to take away two sets from Tech as four of the six singles matches went the Golden Eagles way in straight sets.

At number one, O'Brien lost his first set in a five matches as he dropped the opening set to Jeff Rutherford, 4-6. Not wanting to loose his match and improve to 15-1 on the spring, O'Brien gave up only one more game the rest of the match taking the 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 win from the Panthers.

Vuk Milecevic was the other player to take a set from the Golden Eagles evening his match at number three with Chen, 6-4, 1-6. But once again Tech rebounded quickly and Chen took the deciding set 6-1 in a reverse of momentum.

It was Gutierrez at number five singles that clinched the win.

"Mario was very focused today for us," Silverstein said. "A convincing win like this is reallyg going to help us bulid momentum for our match against Eastern Kentucky this Friday."

The Tech women will play next on the road Wednesday at UNC Asheville before returning home for a match against EKU with the men on Friday.

The men's match against the Colonels could have the potential to give Tech a share of the OVC title with Jacksonville State and the Colonels.