By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Another dominating performance was the story for the Tennessee Tech tennis team Saturday afternoon, as the Golden Eagles took down Jacksonville State, 6-1, in the club's second home match of the spring. With the win, Tech (9-6, 4-0) remains undefeated in OVC play with two matches remaining in the regular season, a pair of home tilts against Tennessee State and Belmont next weekend.
Early drama took center stage in doubles play, with the Golden Eagles narrowly edging JSU (9-7, 2-2) behind a back and forth No. 1 battle between Eduardo Mena and Marcos Bernardes, and Jaryd Reese and Austin McCormick. Following a split in the other two matchups as the tandem of Guillermo Nicolas and Alberto Esteban took down Mathias Chaim and Paolo Cucalon in the No. 2 slot, and the duo of Pablo Caffarena and Andres Gomez slid past Jorge Alfonzo and Marc Mila in the No. 3 spot, it all came down to the No. 1 position for the right to take the early advantage.
Mena and Bernardes would ultimately rein supreme, rallying late to capture a 7-5 win that gave the Golden Eagles a 1-0 edge in the match.
Mena and Bernardes parlayed their doubles success into strong singles showings, each claiming victory at the top of Tech's rotation. Mena, who recently catapulted himself to No. 56 in the country, soared past Jaryd Reese, 6-1, 6-3 out of the No. 1 position. Mena has now won nine-straight to improve his spring singles mark to 13-2.
As far as Bernardes is concerned, the 5-foot-9 junior took his battle in straight sets, knocking off Pablo Caffarena, 6-3, 6-3, in the No. 2 matchup.
Sophomore Guillermo Nicolas and junior Jorge Alfonzo followed suit with a pair of straight-set nods towards the back of the TTU lineup to help push the Golden Eagles to their 21st consecutive OVC victory. Nicolas won his No. 4 meeting with Paolo Cucalon, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), for the Villanueva de la Canada, Spain native's fifth win in a row, while Alfonzo took care of business in the No. 5 slot with a 6-0, 7-5 victory over Andres Gomez.
Freshman Marc Mila needed a little more time in his No. 6 matchup with Guillermo Agost, but the Barcelona, Spain native ultimately prevailed, 7-6 (9-7), 5-7, 12-10 in a shortened three-set affair.
JSU's lone win in singles action that snapped Tech's string of three-straight OVC shutouts came in the No. 3 slot as Mathias Chaim narrowly edged Alberto Esteban, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
With two more matches in TTU's bid of back-to-back perfect conference campaigns, the Golden Eagles will host Tennessee State Friday at 1 p.m. CT, before ending the regular season with a home Saturday match against Belmont at 2 p.m.
Photo by Tony Marable