By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Tennessee Tech tennis team opened a busy stretch up north with a 6-1 loss at Drake in the first of three-straight matches in three-straight days in Des Moines.
No. 28 Eduardo Mena registered his first singles win of the spring, serving as the only Golden Eagle to dent the scoreboard against a Bulldog club that earned a place in the NCAA Tournament a season ago. The two-time OVC Player of the Year rallied back after falling 6-4 in the first set to Vinny Gillespie in the No. 1 slot, bouncing back to take the second set, 6-4, before a 10-8 nod in the third set to tie a ribbon on the top-spot matchup.
The Bulldogs (1-0) set the tone with a win in doubles action, thanks to victories in the No. 1 and No. 3 showdowns. The top-tandem of Vinny Gillespie and Barny Thorold toppled Eduardo Mena and Riku Kubotoa, 6-4, while Tom Hands and Finley Hall collected a 6-3 victory over Wenceslao Albin and Arthur Justo in the No. 3 position.
Tech (0-2) would go on to drop five-of-six singles battles despite Mena's triumph at the top of the lineup. Jorge Alfonzo was upended, 6-1, 6-2, to Tom Hands in the No. 2 position. No. 124 Ben Clark took down Wenceslao Albin, 6-3, 7-5, in the No. 3 affair.
In the No. 4 matchup Barry Thorold raced to a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Riku Kubota. Ben Wood captured a 6-1, 7-6 nod in the No. 5 spot against Gonzalo Garcia, and Finley Hall edged Marc Mila, 6-1, 6-4, in the No. 6 slot.
The Golden Eagles will be right back at it Saturday afternoon, squaring off with Northern Illinois at 1 p.m. CT from the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information