By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Tennessee Tech tennis team saw its two-match win streak snapped Saturday evening, as the Golden Eagles fell 6-1 at Louisville in the club's only tilt of the week. The Cardinals (10-3) now won six-straight.
Louisville quickly grabbed the affair's momentum by clinching the doubles point, collecting wins in the No. 1 and No. 3 spots. The tandem of Sean Donohue and Parker Wynn powered past Tech's No. 1 duo of Guillermo Nicolas and Marcos Bernardes with a 6-1 nod, before George Hedley and Brandon Lancaster won a tight one over Marc Mila and Jorge Alfonzo with a 7-5 victory in the No. 3 slot.
Mena, this week's OVC Male Tennis Athlete of the Week, mirrored his dramatic doubles performance with a similar singles showing that saw the 6-foot junior notch a three-set win in the No. 1 spot. Mena dropped the first set, 6-4, but bounced back with a 6-2 nod in the second, setting the stage for a unique finish in the finale against Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff.
Instead of the traditional set-scoring, the two players locked up in a race to 10, with Mena coming out on top 10-8. The win was the only of the evening for Tech (5-4), and was one of two singles matchups that needed to play a tie-breaking third set.
The No. 3 battle with Alberto Esteban and Nicolas Rouanet saw Esteban seize the first set, 7-6, but Rouanet came back to take the next two with a 6-1 victory in the second and a 10-4 tiebreaking rules nod in the third.
The Cards prevailed in the other four singles matchups, all of which needed just two sets. Parker Wynn downed Marcos Bernardes, 6-2, 6-0 in the No. 2 position. George Hedley won 6-0, 6-0 over Guillermo Nicolas in the No. 4 spot. Brandon Lancaster knocked off Marc Mila, 6-0, 7-6, in the No. 5 slot, and Clement Filho topped Jorge Alfonzo, 6-4, 6-0, in the No. 6 matchup.
Tech will take a lengthy break before its next match, a Mar. 9 meeting at NAIA powerhouse Georgia Gwinnett. The tilt is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. CT.
Photo by Jim Dillon