By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech tennis team has moved within one victory of history.
The Golden Eagles took care of business with a 4-0 win over Eastern Illinois in the OVC Tournament semifinals to head to the championship match for the fourth consecutive season. Having already captured the last three OVC tourney crowns, Tech will be looking to become the first four-peat winner in the event since a run of eight straight MTSU titles in the early to late 90s.
Tech's triumph in the semifinals over the Panthers (14-15) featured dominance during singles play that saw the Golden Eagles (9-13) not drop a single set throughout the afternoon. Riku Kubota collected a 6-1, 6-0 win over Gertjan De Wilder in the No. 4 spot, while Wenceslao Albin secured a 6-0, 6-3 victory in against Gage Kingsmith in the No. 5 position and Fanis Kontopolous earned a 6-1, 6-2 nod over Logan Charbonneau in the No. 6 slot.
The other three singles battles went unfinished, though Tech lead in each one of them. Rafael Tosetto took home a 6-2 win in the first set against Freddie O'Brien in the No. 1 position, joining fellow freshmen Carlos Vicente and Elias Grubert as TTU's trio at the top to earn a set-one nod. Vicente won 7-6 over Mike Jansen in the No. 2 clash and Grubert claimed a 7-5 victory in the opening set against Daniel Hernandez in the No. 3 battle.
Doubles play was decided in the No. 3 position after the two clubs traded wins in the top two matches. Gonzalo Garcia and Carlos Vicente took down Mike Jansen and Gertjan De Wilder with a 6-2 victory in the No. 1 affair, but the combination of Riku Kubota and Wenceslao Albin fell 7-6 (11-9) to Gage Kingsmith and Daniel Hernandez in the No. 2 tilt.
Squared a 1-1, the TTU rookie tandem of Rafael Tosetto and Lucca Silva pushed the Golden Eagles to the doubles point with a 7-6 (7-4) nod against Freddie O'Brien and Logan Charbonneau in the No. 3 spot.
The Golden Eagles will square off with the winner of No. 2 Belmont and No. 3 Jacksonville State in Sunday's championship match. The title will be on the line at 2 p.m. CT from Nashville's Centennial Sportsplex.
Photo by Tony Marable