March 16, 2013

Golden Eagles sweep Tigers to net first win of the season


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech swept every point Saturday to claim a 7-0 victory over Tennessee State in Ohio Valley Conference tennis action, giving coach Kenny Doyle's Golden Eagles their first victory of the year.

The win was Tech's ninth traight regular season win in OVC play, after posting a perfect 8-0 mark last year on the way to capturing the league title. But this year's team had not broken into the win column during a grueling non-conference schedule that resulted in an 0-9 record.

Saturday's victory over TSU maintained Tech's dominance over the Tigers, leaving the Golden Eagles 26-0 all-time against the Big Blue.

Tennessee State visited with just four players, giving Tech a win by default at the No. 3 doubles position and both the No. 5 and No. 6 singles slots. From there, coach Kenntny Doyle's team made pretty swift work of disposing of the Tigers -- except at the No. 1 singles clash, where senior Syrym Abdukhalikov had to fight from behind and capture a 10-8 third-set tie-breaker to preserve the shutout.

In doubles play, Abdukhalikov and sophomore Alejandro Augusto (in photo) landed an 8-3 win over Daniel Bernal and Nranden McClain in the top spot. Moments earlier, Alvaro Cintas and Vasily Eremeev paired up on the No. 2 court for an 8-1 win over William Simmons and Jared Asher to clinch the point and forge a 1-0 lead.

Moving into singles play, Bernal earned a 6-3 win over Abdukhalikov in the first set, before Tech's veteran battled back to win a 7-5 mark in the second set. In the third, Abdukhalikov was pushed to the limit before grabbing a 10-6 win in the final action of the afternoon.

Earlier, Tech had gotten straight set wins from Augusto, Cintas and Eremeev to clinch the match and leave the Golden Eagles with a 6-0 lead. Augusto downed McClain, 6-2, 6-0; Cintas took a 6-1, 6-2 decision from Simmons; and Eremeev defeated Asher, 6-1, 6-0.

The Golden Eagles (1-9/1-0 OVC) will welcome Belmont Sunday at noon. Tech suffered a 6-1 loss to the Bruins a year ago in a non-conference match in Nashville, but this time Belmont visits as a first-year member of the OVC. Admission is free.

Tennessee Tech 7, Tennessee State 0
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Cookeville, Tenn.

Singles
No. 1 - Syrym Abdukhalikov (TTU) def. Daniel Bernal (TSU), 3-6, 7-5, 10-6
No. 2 - Alejandro Augusto (TTU) def. Branden McClain (TSU), 6-2, 6-0
No. 3 - Alvaro Cintas (TU) def. William Simmons (TSU), 6-1, 6-2
No. 4 - Vasily Eremeev (TTU) def. Jared Asher (TSU), 6-1, 6-0
No. 5 - Arturo Santa (TTU) won by default
No. 6 - Othon Lima (TTU) won by default

Doubles
No. 1 - Abdukhalikov/Augusto (TTU) def. Bernal/McClain (TSU), 8-3
No. 2 - Eremeev/Artem Tarasov (TTU) def. Simmons/Asher (TSU), 8-1
No. 3 - Santa/Cintas (TTU) won by default