RICHMOND, Ky. – In a mammoth battle between OVC unbeatens, the Eastern Kentucky men's tennis team outlasted visiting Tennessee Tech 5-2 Sunday afternoon in the Greg Adams Indoor Tennis Center.
With the win, EKU improves to 11-8 overall and 4-0 in the conference. Tech's record moved to 5-4 overall and 3-1 in the conference.
The Golden Eagles have a few days off before hosting SIU Edwardsville Friday in a non-conference match at 11 a.m. Immediately after that, Murray State visits for an OVC contest Saturday at 1 p.m.
Holding a slim 3-2 lead, the Colonels got the final two wins on the court in dramatic fashion, winning at No. 5 in three sets and No. 6 via tie-breakers in both sets.
EKU, which was picked in the preseason to win the OVC title, got things started by claiming the point in doubles with wins at Nos. 2 and 3.
Tech's Josh Girling and Nicholas Stafford earned a tough 8-7 win at No. 1 doubles, topping Philip Janz and Niklas Schroeder. At No. 2 doubles, Alex Das and Carlos Valdenebro blanked Alex Chen and Lloyd Harris, 8-0. The point went to EKU when Hugo Klientovsky and Carles Pons downed Oscar Pachon and Arturo Santa Ruiz, 8-6.
The first four singles contests took the courts and split points with Tech getting wins from Girling at No. 2 and Stafford at No. 3.
In the top position, Das downed Chen, 6-1, 7-5. At No. 2, Girling beat Schroeder, 7-6, 6-3, and at No. 3 Stafford came back from a one-set deficit to beat Klientovsky , 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. The No. 4 contest went to Valdenebro, 6-4, 6-4, over Justin Kirstein.
That put the day's outcome in the hands of the No. 5 and No. 6 matches, and the Colonels won both.
At No. 5, Janz dropped the first set to Santa Ruiz, 3-6, but fought back to win the next two sets, 6-3, 6-4. Pons was pushed to the limit at No. 6 by Pachon but prevailed, 7-6, 7-6.
Eastern Kentucky 5, Tennessee Tech 2
1. Alex Das (EKU) def. Alex Chen (TTU) 6-1, 7-5
2. Josh Girling (TTU) def. Niklas Schroeder (EKU) 7-6, 6-3
3. Nicholas Stafford (TTU) def. Hugo Klientovsky (EKU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. Carlos Valdenebro (EKU) def. Justin Kirstein (TTU) 6-4, 6-4
5. Philip Janz (EKU) def. Arturo Santa Ruiz (TTU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
6. Carles Pons (EKU) def. Oscar Pachon (TTU) 7-6, 7-6
1. Girling/Stafford (TTU) def. Janz/Schroeder (EKU) 8-7
2. Das/Valdenebro (EKU) def. Chen/Harris (TTU) 8-0
3. Klientovsky/Pons (EKU) def. Pachon/Santa Ruiz (TTU) 8-6