Tennis streak stretches to 12 as Tech tops Eastern Kentucky, 4-3


RICHMOND, Ky. -- The Tennessee Tech tennis team pulled out a 4-3 victory Saturday at Eastern Kentucky, improving to 4-0 in Ohio Valley Conference action this year and running its regular season OVC winning streak to 12 straight. Tech is now tied for first place in the OVC with Austin Peay.

As they have done in every OVC match, the Golden Eagles claimed the doubles point for a 1-0 lead that would prove to be crucial to winning the match.

Syrym Abdukhalikov and Alejandro Augusto dispatched Alex Alvaro and Daridge Saidi, 8-3, on the No. 1 court to start things. The pair is 4-0 in OVC matches.

Shortly after, Vasily Eremeev and Artem Tarasov also moved to 4-0 in OVC matches with an 8-2 win over Juanjo De La Llera and Maio Joao, in the No. 2 spot.

With the doubles point already decided, the No. 3 match went unfinished.

Unlike Friday, when Abdukhalikov was the last one off the courts with a match-clinching win at Morehead State, the Golden Eagle senior got things done quickly in sinlges play. He improved to 9-2 in dual matches and 4-0 in the OVC with a 6-4, 6-2, straight-set win over Saidi.

EKU tied the match by grabbing the next two points. At No. 3, De La Llera downed Tarasov, 6-3, 6-2, and down at No. 6, Florian Graskamp notched a 6-0, 7-5 victory over Othon Lima.

Eremeev was the next player off the courts, bumping Tech to a 3-2 lead in the match with a three-set, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 victory at No. 4. He improved his record to 3-0 in OVC singles action.

Augusto, last year's OVC Freshman of the Year, battled through three sets to win the deciding point. He defeated Alvaro, 7-6, 2-6, 6-1, at No. 2, as the Golden Eagles built a 4-2 lead.

Maio and Arturo Santa Ruiz fought through a marathon contest at No. 5, before EKU earned the point in a tie-breaker, 6-4, 6-7, 10-8.

The Golden Eagles are home for their next three matches, including a contest that was rescheduled from earlier this year. On Wednesday, the Golden Eagles welcome Jacksonville State for a 1 p.m. match that had to be moved due to cold weather two weeks ago. On Saturday, Tech will host SIU Edwardsville at noon, and Sunday it's Eastern Illinois, also at noon.

Admission is free for all of Tech's home matches.

Tennessee Tech 4, Eastern Kentucky
3 03/30/13 at Richmond, Ky.
(Coach Tom Higgins Tennis Courts)

Doubles competition
1. Syrym Abdukhalikov/Alejandro Augusto (TTU) def. ALVARO, Alex/SAIDI, Daridge (EKU) 8-3
2. Vasily Eremeev/Artem Tarasov (TTU) def. DE LA LLERA, Juanjo/Joao Maio (EKU) 8-2
3. DOMBROWSKI, Jan/SMETS, Lucas (EKU) vs. Alvaro Cintas/Othon Lima (TTU) 7-3, unfinished

Singles competition
1. Syrym Abdukhalikov (TTU) def. SAIDI, Daridge (EKU) 6-4, 6-2
2. Alejandro Augusto (TTU) def. ALVARO, Alex (EKU) 7-6, 2-6, 6-1
3. DE LA LLERA, Juanjo (EKU) def. Artem Tarasov (TTU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Vasily Eremeev (TTU) def. SMETS, Lucas (EKU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
5. Joao Maio (EKU) def. Arturo Santa Ruiz (TTU) 6-4, 6-7, 10-8
6. Florian Graskamp (EKU) def. Othon Lima (TTU) 6-0, 7-5

Match Notes: Eastern Kentucky (9-12, 4-2); Tennessee Tech (4-9, 4-0)
Order of Finish: Doubles (1, 2); Singles (1, 3, 6, 4, 2*, 5)