Photo by Tyler Lamb / Sports Editor
The Blue Raider men’s tennis team hosted the forty-seventh ranked sqaud in the International Tennis Association (ITA), the South Alabama Jaguars, in the first day of the MT Shootout at the Adam’s Tennis Complex. The Raiders fought, but Friday afternoon just wasn’t there day as the lost by a final score of 4-0.
Doubles play started off in favor of the Blue Raiders. On court one, sophomore Gonzalo Morell and freshman Tom Moonen took the first doubles match against USA’s Juan Cruz Soria and Loic Cloes by a whopping score of 6-1.
The next group to finish was on court three where MTSU’s Max Rauch and Nicolas Buitrago fell to Pierre Noyon and Oliver Gingras by a score of 6-2.
The last match to end in the doubles was the deciding match for the doubles point going into singles. This took place was on court two where MTSU’s juniors Miguel Negre and Gian Issa went down to the wire with a pair of Jaguars. The Blue Raiders ultimately fell to the opponents by a score of 7-6 and dropped to 1-0 in the overall score.
Singles play is where South Alabama started to take over.
The first match to end occurred on court six where MTSU’s Rauch fell to Lucas Gonzalez by a score of 6-0, 6-2 in straight sets.
Court four looked the same as Issa dueled USA’s Cloes, who fell in his doubles to Morell and Moonen. Cloes settled in and regained his confidence, defeating Issa in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.
The Blue Raiders had to win out the rest of their sets for a chance to win the match.
The final and game-deciding set concluded was on court one with Moonen against Soria. Moonen looked good at times, but fell in identical fashion 6-3, 6-4. That set clinched the victory for the Jaguars by a score of 4-0.
“I think we need to do a better job with our toughness,”Assistant coach Daniel Leitner said about moving forward into the weekend. “How we handle some adverse situations, and make better decisions when things get tough and bounce back tomorrow.”
Gonzalo Morell played hard and showed emotion throughout his singles duel. However, due to the Jaguars clinching the win early, his match didn’t finish.
“Gonzalo played a great match against a nationally ranked opponent today.” Lietner said. “Unfortunately, [Morell] didn’t get to finish, but played some good tennis and can hopefully build on that.”
For Morell, the key to success starts with doubles play, something the Blue Raiders have struggled with the past couple of weeks.
“I think we had a tough doubles point, and we tried to bounce back and singles didn’t go the way we wanted.” Morell said in regards to the doubles point matches.
— Cody Strickler (@CodyStricklerSL) March 31, 2017
The Blue Raiders will be back in action tomorrow against Valparaiso at 2 p.m. at the Adam Tennis Complex in Murfreesboro.