MURRAY, Ky. -- It was Senior Day Saturday at Murray State, so Tennessee Tech seniors Josh Girling and Lloyd Harris stepped up to lead the charge as the Golden Eagle men's tennis team claimed a 5-2 Ohio Valley Conference victory over the Racers. It was Tech's second straight win as the Golden Eagles improved to 4-1 within the league and 6-7 overall.
Murray State slipped to 4-11 overall and 1-2 in the OVC.
The contest included some lentgthy, gut-check matches including four tie-breakers and a 30-point singles set. In addition to Girling and Harris, Tech also got wins in both doubles and singles play from junior Justin Kirstein and sophomore Vasily Eremeev.
Girling and Kirstein paired up at No. 1 doubles to garner an 8-6 victory over Jorge Caetano and Arthur Valle, finishing up their match first to set the tone for the day. Shortly afterward, Eremeev and Harris polished off an 8-4 victory at No. 2 doubles over Luka Milicevic and Renaldo Domoney, giving coach Kenny Doyle's team the doubles marker and a 1-0 lead.
In singles play, Kirstein was the first winner off the court, claiming a convincing 6-1, 6-0 straight set win at No. 3 over Demoney. Eremeev matched that effort at No. 4 with a 6-0, 6-3 triumph over Joao Camara for a 3-0 Golden Eagle lead in the match.
Alex Chen had a long afternoon. First, he and partner Murilo deOliveira were pushed to the limit at No. 3 doubles before absorbing a 9-8 (7-5) loss. At No. 1 singles Chen waged another long battle, outlasting Caetano, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, to earn Tech's fourth point and a 4-0 lead.
The match became history when Girling downed Milicevic, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6) for a 5-0 lead with his win at No. 2 singles.
Murray claimed the final two points in the match at the bottom two singles positions. At No. 5, Valle topped deOliveria, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), while the No. 6 match went to Jose Berardo with a 4-6, 6-4, 16-14 marathon win over Arturo Santa Ruiz.
Tech will play at Belmont Tuesday at 1 p.m., then returns home next weekend to host two matches in the team's final regular season action of the year. The Golden Eagles will host Morehead State Saturday at 1 p.m., followed by conference favorite Eastern Kentucky Sunday. The match against the Colonels will be Tech's Senior Day and starts at 1 p.m.
Admission to all Tech tennis matches is free.