Featured Photo by Bill Lickman
Story by Samuel Demonbreun
Middle Tennessee men’s tennis concluded a strenuous weekend of action with a pair of wins against SMU and Austin Peay Sunday at the Adams Tennis Complex.
After dropping a stunner versus Oklahoma State, Middle Tennessee came into Sunday’s matchups looking to right the ship.
“It was heartbreaking, it was tough not going to lie,” Stijn Slump said, “But we shook it off and came back on Saturday, had a good practice.”
The Mustangs from Dallas came into the ATC after bouncing back from two straight losses with a 4-1 victory over UTSA last Sunday to improve their record to 6-3.
The Blue Raiders started hot in the marathon of matches as No. 23 ranked doubles pair Francisco Rocha and Oskar Brostrom Poulsen claim the doubles point 7-6 (6) in a nail-biting win over Adam Neff and Pranav Kumar.
Pavel Motl and Stijn Slump won their match over Julian Steinhausen and Jack Winkler 6-4, and Ondrej Horak and Shu Matsuoka would drop their first ever match together against Liam Krall and Antonio Muniz Hidalg 6-3.
Middle Tennessee has now won seven straight doubles points; they are 9-3 on the season in earning the doubles point.
No. 91 Oskar Brostrom Poulsen extended Middle Tennessee’s lead to 2-0 with a masterful 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Liam Krall on Court 3.
“This win feels really good after the one Friday,” Brostrom Poulsen said after his match, “But like I said earlier today, it’s not over, we still got one more match today. We’re looking for a longer season, not just this match.”
Julian Steinhausen put SMU on the board with a win over Marcel Kamrowski 6-3, 6-2. The loss drops Kamrowski’s season record to 5-5.
After falling short in the final set of Friday’s loss against Oklahoma State, Conference USA Player of the Week, Stijn Slump won an emphatic point to win the match and put MTSU up 3-1.
On Court 6, Motl Pavel clinched the win for the Blue Raiders with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Louis Cloud. Matches on Courts 2 and 4 went unfinished.
“The two things I wasn’t happy with on Friday was, I wanted a little bit more of a team, overall energy throughout the singles.” said Head Coach Jimmy Bordendame, “The other thing was I thought we played not to lose instead of playing to win. Just saw a little different temperament to the guys and it was great, the guys followed through and executed well.”
This match puts MTSU up two matches to none over SMU in the all-time series.
MTSU vs Austin Peay
After a quick intermission, Middle Tennessee played host to instate rival Austin Peay. But rivalry may be a stretch, as MTSU has never lost to Austin Peay in the nine matches they’ve played dating back to 2011.
And Sunday’s match was no different as MTSU’s decade of dominance would continue as the Blue Raiders trampled the Governers 6-1, improving their record to 10-3.
Middle Tennessee started hot as they would quickly grab the doubles point thanks to the freshman pair of Ondrej Horak and Shu Matsuoka, the duo would win a quick 6-1 set. And on Court 1 Oskar Brostrom Poulsen and Marcel Kamrowski would clinch the doubles point for the Blue Raiders. Pavel Motl and Baran Soyler’s match would end unfinished with the pair up 5-3.
The Blue Raiders would keep their foot on the gas as they would string together four straight matches won to go up 5-0 on the Govs.
After early struggles in his doubles match, freshman Baran Soyler found his footing and ran away with an impressive 6-1, 6-0 win over Tom Bolton. Other freshmen Marcel Kamrowski and Ondrej Horak would win their matches to extend the Blue Raider lead.
Stijn Slump continued to have standout day as he would coast to a 6-3, 6-1 victory and would clinch the match victory 4-0 for MTSU.
Austin Peay’s Bodi Van Galen played spoiler to the Blue Raider shut out as he would outlast Shu Matsuoka 4-6, 6-2, 12-10 to put Austin Peay on the board 5-1.
Middle Tennessee’s Oskar Brostrom Poulsen would close out the weekend with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Sota Minami.
“I’m happy, finished it strong. Obviously, Friday was a bit of a hiccup,”Borendame said, “It stung a little bit but I look at it as part of the process and you know the goal at the end of the year is to be strong in the NCAA Tournament and it’s just gonna make us tougher.”
The Blue Raiders will try and ride this momentum into the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic next weekend in Montgomery, Alabama to try and repeat as champions.
Samuel Demonbreun is a sports reporter for MTSU Sidelines. If you have information for a story, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.