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Tech netters open season with 6-1 loss to ranked Radford

HIXSON, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech tennis team rolled out to an impressive start to the 2012 spring season Saturday night, capturing all three doubles matches and taking an early 1-0 lead in the team's opening match with No. 71 Radford.

Things turned around quickly after that, however, as the Highlanders (2-1) swept all six singles matches to post a 6-1 victory at the Hixson Racquet Club.

The Golden Eagles (0-1) will be back on the courts early Sunday, facing host UT Chattanooga in a 9 a.m. CT match at the same location.

All three Tech doubles pairs won by two-point margins, with Syrym Abduhkailikov and Alex Chen (pictured) outlasting Radford's Thomas Dehaen and Nicholas Sayer, 9-7, in the top spot. At no. 2, Vasily Eremeev and newcomer Artem Tarasov downed Stijn Meulemans and Igor Ogrizek, 8-6. It was the same story at no. 3 doubles, where newcomer Alejandro Augusto Bueno and Justin Kirtstein earned an 8-6 victoy over Patrick O'Keefe and Randall Carter.

Radford jumped to a 2-1 lead with straight-set wins at no. 4 and no. 6 singles, then claimed similar wins at the other four spots to finish the night's action. At no. 4, Dehaen got the best of Tarasov by a 6-2, 6-1 count, while at no. 6, it was O'Keefe downing Eremeev, 6-3, 6-2.

Kirstein was the next to bow out for Tech, dropping his contest at no. 5 to Mills, 6-3, 6-1, followed by Chen at no. 2, losing a 6-1, 6-4 bout with Ogrizek.

Abduhkailikov and Augusto Bueno put up the best fights of the night for Tech before falling. At the no. 1 singles position, Abduhkailikov dropped his match, 7-6. 6-4, to Sayer, while at no. 3, Muelemans outlasted Augusto Bueno, 7-5, 6-1.