Photo by Joi Williams / MTSU Sidelines
With the new semester now underway, the Middle Tennessee tennis teams are back in action. Over the weekend, both teams competed in doubleheaders in a home match, and the men’s team also competed at Vanderbilt on Friday. After a solid weekend for both squads, the women’s team now boasts a 4-0 record for their best start to a season since 2010, and the men stand at 4-1.
Women sweep weekend, continue undefeated start
The women’s team took on Lipscomb and Murray State on Saturday, winning both in the home-stand.
The first match was against the Bison of Lipscomb, and that is where the day of dominance began.
In the first doubles match, the sophomore and senior tandem of Marta Peris Herrero and Maria Josefina Zehnder won their match by a score of 6-4. The team won the doubles point when juniors Kim Kermet and Luisa Zirilli defeated their opponents by a 6-4 count. The freshman duo Lee and Zani Barnard remained unfinished in their match.
In singles, Zirilli defeated her opponent soundly with a match score of 6-2, 6-3. Sophomore Lidia Burrows dominated her opponent as well, winning with a 6-1, 6-1 score.
Kermet clinched the match for the team with her 6-1, 6-2 victory, giving MTSU momentum heading into the competition.
Their next opponent was Murray State, and the results were pretty much the same as the first match.
In doubles, the Barnards dealt their opponents a 6-1 loss to take an early lead. Zehnder and Herrero also handed their opponents a 6-1 loss to take the doubles point and an early lead.
Middle Tennessee made quick work of the Racers in singles competition, sweeping all five pairings. Herrero defeated her opponent 6-3, 6-0, while both Barnards and Zehnder won in straight sets for a point each.
While they each took the full three sets, Costanza Magazzini and Kermet closed the day by defeating their opponents to send MTSU to its best start since 2010.
Men fall to Vanderbilt, respond by dominating Sunday twin-bill
The men’s tennis team began their action earlier in the weekend as they traveled to Nashville on Friday to take on Vanderbilt University.
MTSU got off to a good start in doubles play, as the duo of freshman Chris Edge and sophomore Tom Moonen took a straight-set victory to begin play. The junior and senior combo of Gonzalo Morell Raschiatore and Miguel Negre Fernandez followed with a 6-3 win to clinch the doubles point.
Singles play was electric and was the deciding factor in the winner of the match. The Commodores won the first three matches of singles play to regain the match lead. Edge responded with a 7-5, 6-3 victory to get the Blue Raiders back within a point. Senior Gian Issa followed with a three-set win to tie the overall score.
In the match that decided the overall outcome, sophomore Max Rauch fell to his opponent by a score of 6-3, 6-3 to give Vanderbilt the 4-3 win.
The men didn’t let this loss get them down, however, and were back in action at home in a doubleheader on Sunday against the University of Alabama-Birmingham and Alabama State.
The first opponent for the Raiders was conference opponent UAB for their first Conference USA match of the season.
UAB struck first by winning two doubles matches and earning their team the first point of the match.
The Raiders came roaring back in singles play and claimed five matches to take a commanding lead of 5-1. Rauch won his match in three sets, while Issa, Edge, Fernandez and Raschiatore all won in straight sets. This led to a 5-2 victory for MTSU heading into their final match of the weekend.
MTSU drew first blood against Alabama State by winning the doubles point with victories by a total score of 12-1. Moonen and Edge won 6-0, while Rauch and sophomore Nicholas Butriago earned a 6-1 victory.
In singles play, the men swept their opponents for their second win of the day. They improved to 4-1 on the season with the victory.
Both teams play next weekend, as the men will face Tennessee State and the University of Texas-San Antonio in a doubleheader at home. The women will be traveling to Jacksonville, Florida, to take on Florida A&M and North Florida.