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Five Golden Eagles head to Knoxville for Tennessee Invitational


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Five Golden Eagles will represent Tennessee Tech this weekend in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee Invitational men's tennis tournament, to be played at Barksdale Stadium and nearby courts in Tyson Park.

Among the schools participating in addition to Tech and host Tennessee will be Penn State, Louisville, Chattanooga, Xavier, Winthrop, Alcorn, Southern Miss, Wright State, USC Upstate, Eastern Kentucky, Dayton and Western Michigan.

Coach Kenny Doyle's lineup will include senior Syrym Abdukhalikov, junior Vasily Eremeev and sophomores Artem Tarasov, Ezeqiel Gils and Alejandro Augusto.

Abdukhalikov and Augusto are coming off a successful appearance at the ITA All-Amerian tournament in Tulsa.

In doubles qualifying, the pair defeated Nikita Fomin and Danil Zelenkov of George Washington University, 8-6, to advance to the second round. In that advanced round, they battled Brett Clark and William Parker of North Carolina before falling 9-7.

In singles pre-qualifying, Augusto advanced all the way to the final round with a pair of wins, while Abdukhalikov lost of pair of close contests to west coast oppponents. Augusto opened with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over seeded Gonzalo Blanco of USC Upstate. He followed that with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Erik Brunskog of Illinois State University.

In the final round, one win from advancing into the qualifying draw, Augusto put on a thrilling performance before bowing out in a three-set marathon with Hunter Nicholas of San Diego State, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Abdukhalikov lost to Daniel Fernandez of New Mexico State University, 7-6, 6-2 in his first match,  then fell to Derek Siddiqui of San Diego State, 7-5, 6-2 in the bonus matches.

The tournament at Tennessee will feature three singles draws and six doubles draws, with the draws announced Thursday evening. Play will begin Friday morning and run through Sunday.

For fans hoping to follow the action of Tech's players, Tennessee will offer a variety of options, depending on the draws and locations of their matches. If any of the Golden Eagles play in Barksdale Stadium, there will be live video with full commentary every day.

Tennessee will also be tweeting results @voltennis_event. Finally, UT will host a live blog all three days utsports.com <http://utsports.com> The live blog should be useful keeping tabs of what's happening at Tyson Park. Friends, family and fans can also ask questions.

Complete results of Tech's participants will also be posted after the tournament at TTUsports.com.