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March 27, 2014

Esteban, Cintas lift Golden Eagles in come-from-behind OVC win over Govs


By Rob Schabert, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- It's about 210 kilometers (131 miles) from Alberto Esteban's home in Madrid to Cuenca, the Spanish city that Alvaro Cintas calls home. On Thursday afternoon, the distance between the two Golden Eagles was considerably shorter -- about the width of a single tennis court.

Their assignments were exactly the same -- win. After everything else had been settled on the Tennessee Tech campus courts, it came down to Esteban, a freshman, and Cintas, a sophomore for the Golden Eagles. Their team trailing in the match, 3-2, both had to pull out their singles contests for coach Kenny Doyle's team to grab the Ohio Valley Conference match against rival Austin Peay.

In the No. 2 contest, Esteban fought back to capture his first set over Dimitar Ristovski, 7-6 with a tiebreaker in three. He then made short work of the second set, winning 6-1. That knotted the match at 3-3, and all the attention shifted to the No. 5 court, where Cintas was battling Jamaes Mitchell.

Cintas withstood Mitchell's relentless volleys to win a 7-6 first set, but the Governor freshman worked his way back to claim a 6-4 second set. More than four hours after the day's action began, Cintas prevailed with a 7-5 win to clinch the victory for the Golden Eagles, 4-3.

It proved worth the extra 11-day wait for the Golden Eagle. The match was originally postponed due to poor weather.

Tech had won the doubles point with wins in the bottom two spots. First, Cintas and Gagan Jain (photo above) put an 8-3 win in the books over Mitchell and Manuel Montenegro in the No. 3 position. Minutes later, Vasily Eremeev and Artem Tarasov clinched an 8-6 win at No. 2 over Iago Seffrin and Ristovski. On the No. 1 court, Esteban and Oleksiy Arovin were up, 6-5, when the match against Jasmin Ademovic and Aleksas Tverijonas was ended without a result.

Tverijonas was the first winner in singles play, sweeping to a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 3 over Eremeev to even the match at 1-1. Arovin won his 11th consecutive match, rolling to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Ademovic at the No. 1 spot, improving to 12-2 in dual matches in his first season for the Golden Eagles after a transfer from Oklahoma State.

APSU captured the next two to finish, and took a 3-2 lead in the match. First, Montenegro posted a 6-0, 6-3 win over Gonzalo Munoz in the No. 6 match, followed by Iago Seffrin at No. 4 with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Jain.

That left Esteban and Cintas to battle it out for the win, and they got the job done. The win allowed Tech (3-11/2-3 OVC) to snap a three-match losing streak. Austin Peay 's record moved to 7-5 overall and 2-2 in the OVC.

Tech has now won 19 of the last 22 matches with Austin Peay, remaining unbeaten against the Govs on the Tech courts since 1984 with a 13-0 record.

The Golden Eagles get the weekend off, returning to action next Friday, April 4, when they face USC Upstate at noon in Johnson City, Tenn. Tech then plays two OVC matches in Nashville, meeting Belmont Saturday (April 5) at 10 a.m., and Tennessee State Sunday (April 6) at 1 p.m.

Tennessee Tech 4, Austin Peay 3
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Tech Campus Courts / Cookeville, Tenn.

Singles Competition
No. 1 - Oleksiy Arovin (Tech) def. Jasmin Ademovic, 6-2, 6-2
No. 2 - Alberto Esteban (Tech) def. Dimitar Ristovski, 7-6 (3), 6-1
No. 3 - Aleksas Tverijonas (APSU) def. Vasily Eremeev, 6-0, 6-1
No. 4 - Iago Seffrin (APSU) def. Gagan Jain, 6-2, 7-5
No. 5 - Alvaro Cintas (Tech) def. James Mitchell, 7-6, 4-6, 7-5
No. 6 - Manuel Montenegro (APSU) def. Gonzalo Munoz, 6-0, 6-3

Doubles Competition
No. 1 - Oleksiy Arovin/Alberto Esteban (Tech) vs. Jasmin Ademovic/Alexsas Tverijona (APSU), unfinished
No. 2 - Vasily Eremeev/Artem Tarasov (Tech) def. Iago Seffrin/Dimitar Ristovski, 8-6
No. 3 - Alvaro Cintas/Gagan Jain (Tech) def. James Mitchell/Manuel Montenegro, 8-3

Order of Finish:
Doubles 3, 2, -
Singles 3, 1, 6, 4, 2, 5

Records: Tech 2-11 / 2-3 OVC, Austin Peay 7-5 / 2-2 OVC