By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech tennis team unwrapped its conference season in impressive fashion Saturday afternoon, routing Eastern Illinois, 7-0, in the 2017 home opener. With the win, TTU moves to 32-3 in its last 35 home matches.
The Golden Eagles (6-5, 1-0) came out strong in doubles play thanks to wins in the top two spots to seize the point, before capturing all six singles matchups without even dropping a set to the Panthers (2-15, 0-2).
Junior Eduardo Mena rolled to a 6-2, 6-1 nod in the top spot over Gage Kingsmith, bumping Mena's singles mark to 9-2, the most wins on the squad. Mena's victory was part of a promising trend for the Golden Eagles that saw Tech not only take each set, but not allow a Panther to win as much as four games in any matchup.
Carlos Tajes was strong out of the No. 6 spot with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Braden Davis, while freshman Marc Mila provided Tech with more punch in the back of the lineup with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Trent Reiman in the No. 5 slot.
The rest of the Golden Eagles soared with ease as Marcos Bernardes knocked off Marko Stefan Janjusic, 6-3, 6-3, in the No. 2 position, Alberto Esteban took down Grant Reiman, 6-3, 6-2, in the No. 3 spot, and sophomore Guillermo Nicolas registered a 6-3, 6-2 victory in the No. 4 matchup. After an unblemished season a year ago, Nicolas moved his OVC career singles record to 10-0.
In doubles action, Eduardo Mena and Marcos Bernardes teamed up for a 6-4 win against Gage Kingsmith and Grant Reiman in the No. 1 spot, while the tandem of Alberto Esteban and Guillermo Nicolas powered past Trent Reiman and Ferdinand Ammer in the No. 2 slot. The No. 3 doubles tilt pitting Jorge Alfonzo and Carlos Tajes against Jared Woodson and Jacob Wendell did not finish.
It will be a quick turnaround for the Golden Eagles as Tech will travel to North Florida for a Monday night match with the Ospreys, the final non-conference affair of the year. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. CT.
Photo by Jim Dillon