Story by Keenan Taylor / Staff Writer
Photo by Tyler Lamb / Sports Editor
The Middle Tennessee Men’s tennis team was in double-header action this weekend, with match-ups against George Washington University and Alabama A&M. Both matches played out very differently but ended with the same outcome: the Blue Raiders won.
Middle got off to a quick start, taking doubles victories at the No. 1 and 2 spots with scores of 6-1 and 6-2, respectively. Junior Miguel Negre Fernandez and sophomore Gonzalo Morell Raschiatore each dominated in their singles matches to extend the lead to 3-0.
Even with the 3-0 deficit, George Washington refused to go down quietly. A crucial win at the No. 5 match in three sets, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, followed by a narrow victory at No. 6, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) commenced their comeback. In a hotly contested No. 3 match, the Colonials fought hard and tied the match at three points apiece with a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 win.
Though they blew a 3-0 lead, MT never lost its composure, and freshman Tom Moonen sealed the deal by winning a three-set match to thwart the comeback attempt and win the match for Middle Tennessee.
It was a different story against Alabama A&M, as the Blue Raiders dominated from the start in sweeping the Bulldogs, 7-0.
Middle Tennessee once again took the doubles point by winning on all three double courts, 6-0. Sophomore Jacob Pugh added to the team’s 1-0 lead by taking down his opponent 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 6 spot. Gian Issa and Morell followed Pugh’s script by beating each of their opponents in straight sets.
Nicolas Buitrago Machado recorded his first career dual match victory as a Blue Raider with a dominant 6-1, 6-1, win in the fifth spot. Luis Morillo Diaz and Max Rauch finished the match by dominating their opponents in straight sets to send Alabama A&M home with a 7-0 defeat.
The Blue Raiders (2-2, 0-0) will travel to Wisconsin to battle with the Badgers Friday, and Sunday they will return home to host Western Michigan at 11 a.m.