By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
KENNESAW, Ga. – The Tennessee Tech tennis team's cluster of rookies played a role in every purple and gold point, but it ultimately wasn't enough in a 4-3 loss Wednesday at Kennesaw State in TTU's final tune-up before the start of OVC action.
The Golden Eagles (4-11) will unwrap their five-match conference slate with the club's first home affair, a Saturday meeting with Belmont from Tech Tennis Courts.
Freshmen Rafael Tosetto and Elias Grubert paved the way in the singles department with wins out of the No. 1 and No. 4 spots respectively. Tosetto, the only Golden Eagle to compete in the No. 1 slot this spring, secured a come-from-behind, three-set thrilling triumph with a 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 nod over Fermin Calvo Barcelo. Grubert needed only two sets to take care of business in his clash with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Gaston Muhammad in the No. 4 position.
The two TTU youngsters also helped lead the Golden Eagles to the doubles point over the Owls (6-8), as the freshmen tandem collected a 6-3 victory over Lucas de Torres Curth and Sebastian Osorio in the No. 3 battle. Tech officially clinched the point with a win in the No. 1 spot behind a Gonzalo Garcia and Carlos Vicente 6-4 triumph over Bryan Triana and Drew Lahey.
Albin and Kubota would go on to drop their respective singles duels toward the bottom of the lineup, as Kubota was upended 6-1, 6-4 by Sebastian Osorio in the No. 5 meeting, while Albin fell 7-6, 6-4 to Kevin Patel in the No. 6 get-together.
KSU also claimed victories in the No. 2 and No. 3 positions with a Lucas deTorres Curth 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 nod over Carlos Vicente in the No. 2 tilt and a Bryan Triana 6-0, 6-3 triumph against Gonzalo Garcia in the No. 3 spot.
The Golden Eagles will set their sights on Saturday's home opener with Belmont, welcoming the defending regular-season conference champions to Tech Tennis Courts for a 12 p.m. CT start. Although the Bruins claimed the regular-season crown, the Golden Eagles struck for revenge with a thrilling 4-3 win in last year's OVC Tournament championship match in Nashville.
Admission to Tech Tennis Courts is free of charge.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information