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Golden Eagles sweep weekend, top Morehead State Sunday, 5-2

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The tough early-season non-conference schedule didn't help the Tennessee Tech tennis team in builing up an impressive record, but it did the job of helping the Golden Eagles prepare for Ohio Valley Conference play.

On Sunday, Tech completed a sweep of its OVC weekend matches, downing Morehead State, 5-2, to remain unbeaten in the league at 2-0. On Saturday, Tech stunned preseason favorite Eastern Kentucky, 4-2. With Sunday's victory, coach Kenny Doyle's team has now won three matches in a row and improved to 4-7 overall.

Tech captured the doubles point, then took three of the first four singles events to be completed with junior Syrym Abduhkhalikov [in photo at right] clinching the winner with a straight set victory at the No. 1 position.

The Golden Eagles face three more OVC matches this week, beginning Wednesday when Murray State visits the Tech campus for a 12 p.m. contest. Tech will play at Tennessee State Saturday and Jacksonville State Sunday.

Artem Tarsov and Vasily Eremeev got Tech rolling against Morehead State with an 8-2 win in their No. 2 doubles match, topping Justin Harlow and David Clifford. The Golden Eagles clinched the doubles mark shortly afterward when Alejandro Augusto and Justin Kirstein wrapped up an 8-4 win over Nathan Martin and Nathan Blum at the No. 3 spot.

Morehead's pairing of Seve Day and Kevin Deligny took an early lead in the No. 1 doubles match, but saw it evaporate behind determined play from Abduhkalikov and Alex Chen. The MSU duo held on for a 9-8 (7) victory.

Augusto was the first man off the courts in singles play, sweeping to a quick, 6-1, 6-1 win over Deligny at No. 3, while Chen was close behind with a 6-1, 6-2 victory at No. 2 over Clifford. It gave Tech a 3-0 lead in the match.

Day gave the visiting Eagles a ray of hope with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Tarasov at No. 4, but Abduhkalikov put away any doubts with a straight set, 6-4, 6-1 win over Harlow in the No. 1 position.

Kirstein battled back after dropping the first set to gain a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 win over Martin at No. 5 singles, before Roger White finished the action with 6-4, 4-6 (10-8) decision against Eremeev at No. 6.

Tech improved to 37-11 in the all-time series with Morehead State, including a 28-3 record over the Eagles since 1986.