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Men's tennis team meets strong Middle Tennessee team in Nashville

O'Brien looks to continue winning start

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Sophomore Dean O'Brien looks to continue his winning ways Friday night when he leads the Tennessee Tech men's tennis team against Middle Tennessee State in a dual match in Nashville.

Individually, O'Brien is 3-0 this spring, posting a pair of wins at No. 1 singles and one victory in his only doubles contest.

The Golden Eagles, playing for first-year head coach Dan Silverstein, are looking to post their first win after falling last week at Florida A&M and Florida State to get the spring schedule underway. Tech's singles lineup includes three freshmen and three sophomores.

Following O'Brien in Tech's lineup will be freshman Alex Chen at No. 2 singles and freshman Oscar Pachon at No. 3. The bottom half of the lineup features sophomore Josh Girling at No. 4, freshman Justin Kirstein at No. 5 and sophomore Mario Gutierrez at No. 6.

"This will be a really good test for our team," said Silverstein. "Middle Tennessee has a strong team, they're well-coached, and they're opening the season so they're anxious to play.

"We played well in our match at Florida State, and we've had a good week of practice, so we're ready to go," he said. "The early part of our schedule presents some outstanding challenges to such a young team, but that's what these guys want. They want to play the best competition they can."

The Blue Raiders will have a quick turnaround in their opening weekend playing Tech directly after a 1 p.m. match against Chattanooga.

"It is Dan Sliverstein's first year at Tennessee Tech but he came from a very good South Alabama program," said MTSU coach Dan McNamara. "He has seen our team play a lot over the years and knows our team well. Tech has some very good players and we need to be ready for a battle."