February 26, 2011

Golden Eagles open OVC play with win at Jacksonville State

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. -- The Tennessee Tech's men's tennis team returned home Saturday with a 5-2 win over Jacksonville State in their first Ohio Valley Conference match of the season.

The Golden Eagle came out the gate strong, capturing the doubles point to take the lead in the match, 1-0.

"It was great doubles," Alex Chen said as he observed his teammates play. "Our one and three doubles did really well."

In the number one position, senior Josh Girling and junior Justin Kirstein grabbed the first win over Gamecock's Gustavo Holts and Brian Kenyon, 8-1.

Sophomore Arturo Santos and junior James Crawford gave Tech a 1-0 lead when they defeated JSU's number three doubles team, 8-2.

Chen and Vasily Eremeev lost their doubles match, 8-5.

Eremeev served up the first singles win for Tech with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Gustavo Holtz at number four.

"Vasily had a great singles match," Chen said. "His serve really won the match for him."

Girling and Kirstein also had pretty sound wins over their opponents to give Tech the match. Girling, playing two for Tech, defeated Axel Sundberg, 6-3, 6-3. Kirstein captured his match against Nenad Mercec, 6-2, 6-2.

Santos and Crawford lost their singles matches before Chen wrapped up a three-set battle to finish the already decided match. Santos fell in the number five position, 6-3, 6-4 and Crawford lost 6-1, 6-4 at number six.

At the number one position, Chen took on JSU's Brian Kenyon and edged out a first-set win, 7-6 (3). Kenyon fought back in the second to grab it, 7-5. The two remained neck-and-neck until the very end but Chen recieved the victory with an 11-9 win over Kenyon in the third set super-tie-breaker. 

Chen, a junior on the team and a leader in his example as a top player for Tech, was proud of the way his team played against JSU.

"Everyone fought hard and played really well, it was a good match," he said.

Tech will be out of action until their first home match this season on March 20. They will take on Eastern Illinois at noon.