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Golden Eagles drop close contest at SIUE


EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. -- Play at the bottom of the lineup proved to be the difference Sunday as SIU Edwardsville collected a 4-3 Ohio Valley Conference tennis victory over Tennessee Tech at the Edwardsville YMCA. The Cougars clinched the match with a victory in the No. 6 singles spot.

Four of the six singles matches stretch into a third set, and two were eventually decided by tie-breakers as the morning contest stretch well into the afternoon.

Tech got strong play at the head of the Golden Eagle lineup, winning in the two top singles positions, but could muster just one other point on the day in dropping its third consecutive OVC contest to slip to 2-11 overall and 1-3 in league matches. SIUE improved to 8-7 overall and 2-2 in the OVC.

SIUE jumped out to a 1-0 lead with the doubles point, winning at No. 2 and No. 3. The Golden Eagle pair of Oleksiy Arovin and Alberto Esteban gave coach Kenny Doyle's team a win in the highest doubles spot, downing Nico Kuehn and Stephen Washuta, 8-4.

However, SIUE's Patrick Gaffigan and Matthew Hutchinson defeated Artem Tarasov and Vasily Eremeev 8-3 at No. 2 doubles, while Nicolas Vincent and Jacob Tanulanond beat Gagan Jain and Alvaro Cintas, 8-4, for a 1-0 match lead.

Arovin, who is now 12-2 in dual matches, captured his ninth consecutive win with a convincing 6-0, 6-1 victory at No. 1 singles over Vincent, tying the match at 1-1.

Tanulanond picked up SIUE's second point of the match with a straight sets win over Jain 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) at No. 5 singles. The Cougar lead went to 3-1 after Jacob Perkins outlasted Vasily Eremeev in the No. 3 position, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. That set the stage for Gaffigan at No. 6, and he clinched Sunday's win with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Artem Tarasov.

Despite the match being decided, Tech got plenty of fight from Esteban and Cintas, who went on to capture their points. Esteban, at No. 2, won a marathon over Hutchinson, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. In the No. 4 nail-biter, Cintas and Kuehn split the first two, then went to a tiebreaker in the third set before Cintas claimed the point. Kuehn fought off five match points before falling 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9-7).

The Golden Eagles will host Austin Peay Thursday at 1 p.m. in a match that was postponed by rain earlier in the year. Admission is free.

SIUE 4, Tennessee Tech 3
Mar 23, 2014 at Edwardsville, Ill.

Singles competition
1. AROVIN, Oleksiy (TTU) def. Nicolas Vincent (SIUE) 6-0, 6-1
2. ESTEBAN, Alberto (TTU) def. Matthew Hutchinson (SIUE) 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
3. Jacob Perkins (SIUE) def. EREMEEV, Vasily (TTU) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. CINTAS, Alvaro (TTU) def. Nico Kuehn (SIUE) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9-7)
5. Jacob Tanulanond (SIUE) def. JAIN, Gagan (TTU) 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)
6. Patrick Gaffigan (SIUE) def. TARASOV, Artem (TTU) 6-2, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. AROVIN, Oleksiy/ESTEBAN, Alberto (TTU) def. Nico Kuehn/Stephen Washuta (SIUE) 8-4
2. Patrick Gaffigan/Matthew Hutchinson (SIUE) def. TARASOV, Artem/EREMEEV, Vasily (TTU) 8-2
3. Nicolas Vincent/Jacob Tanulanond (SIUE) def. JAIN, Gagan/CINTAS, Alvaro (TTU) 8-4

Match Notes Tennessee Tech 2-11, 1-3 OVC SIUE 8-7, 2-2
OVC Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,5,3,6,2,4)
T-3:10