Tarasov wins flight championship to highlight play at Tennessee Invitational

Tarasov wins flight championship to highlight play at Tennessee Invitational


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech sophomore Artem Tarasov claimed the championship in the Volunteer Singles Flight and teamed with junior Vasily Eremeev to win one of Tech's two consolation crowns in doubles during play at the Tennessee Fall Tennis Invitational.

It took losses to eventual flight champions to eliminate Golden Eagle players in two other flights, including sophomore Alejandro Augusto in the top singles flight after he had defeated the No. 4 seeded entry.

"This tournament provided really good competition and our guys played very well," said TTU coach Kenny Doyle. "We got some impressive wins."

Tarasov sailed through his singles draw with four straight wins to claim the championship of the Volunteer Singles Flight. After a first-round bye, Tarasiv, a sophomore from Uzbekistan, downed Freddy Abunku of Xavier in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. He followed with a 6-2, 7-6 win over Marc Shideler of Western Michigan to reach the semifinals.

Dayton Kyle MacDonald was Tarasov's victim in the semis, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4. In the championship, Tarasov outlasted Daniel Hyman of Wright State, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Augusto won his first three matches in the Orange Singles Flight, beginning with a convincing 6-4, 6-1 victory over Micahel Lippens, seeded fourth in the top singles draw. He claimed a 6-4, 6-2 win over Chris Smith of Chattanooga, then advanced to the semifinals when his foe retired due to injury.

Augusto was finally eliminated by the eventual flight champion, Tennessee's Mikelis Libietis, the top-seed in the tournament and natinally ranked No. 15 singles player. He didn't go down without a fight, taking Mikelis to the limit in the first set before falling, 7-6, 6-3.

Senior Syrym Abdukhalikov didn't fare as well, losing to Xavier's Zachary Mueck, 6-2, 6-0, in the opening round. He bowed out of the consolation round by default.

In the White Singles Flight Eremeev got a pair of wins before falling to the eventual flight champion. He defeated Wright State's Ricardo Pineda, 6-2 6-5, then dispatched Jimmy Beckwith of Western Michigan, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. Tennessee's John Collins, who went on to win the flight, topped Eremeev, 6-2, 6-0, to end his run.

Elsewhere in the flight, Ezequiel Gils suffered a 6-4, 6-2 loss to Jackson Tresnan of Chattanooga. He was ousted in the consolation round by Stephen Payne of Western Michigan in a marathon match, 6-1 4-6, 10-8.

In the Smokey Doubles Flight, Augusto and Abdukhalikov dropped an 8-5 decision to Jarryd Chaplin and Mikelis Libietis of Tennessee, a pair ranked 17th nationally. They fought back to earn a 9-7 win over Dayton's Devin Jones and Aidan Koross in the consolation bracket, and advanced to the championship via a bye. They were crowned consolation champions by default with a no-show by their opponents.

Eremeev and Tarasov started slowly in the White Doubles Flight, falling to Adam Krull and Michael Moe of Xavier, 8-4, in the opening round. Krull and Moe went on to win the flight, while Tech's duo came back to win the consolation title. They claimed an 8-3 win over Chase Altieri and James O'Brien of Winthrop, then moved into the championship with a bye. They claimed an 8-6 win over Chattanooga's Ankit Chopra and Stephen Crofford for the title.

The next action for coach Kenny Doyle's team is at the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional, Oct. 18-21, in Memphis.