By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech tennis team will attempt to smack an exclamation point at the end of the weekend, heading to East Tennessee State to tangle with the Bucs for a Sunday morning matchup. First serve from Bristol is slated for 10 a.m. CT.
Tech's tilt with ETSU (3-4) will serve as the only match of the weekend after rain wreaked havoc on the Golden Eagle home opener, set for Saturday against Chattanooga. TTU moved its match with the Mocs to Apr. 1.
While the weather may have been troublesome, Tech's play of late has certainly been the opposite with the Golden Eagles suddenly surging behind two-straight wins. An unblemished February, Tech (2-5) secured a 5-2 win at UNC Asheville on Feb. 4, before knocking off Lipscomb, 4-3, on Feb. 10.
Freshman Gonzalo Garcia leads the Golden Eagles with a 4-3 singles mark, while No. 51 Eduardo Mena boasts three singles nods in the early stages of the year, all against No. 1 competition. Garcia has also accumulated the most doubles victories on the club with three tandem wins.
As far as ETSU is concerned, the Bucs are coming off a 4-1 victory over William & Mary on Feb. 11 that snapped a three-match slide. Sergi Fontcuberta and Robert Herrera have each posted identical 4-2 singles records this spring, the best on the squad.
The Buccaneers have proven to be the class of the Southern Conference, rolling off 11 consecutive SoCon Tournament titles. Current Golden Eagle junior Wenceslao Albin was part of the last two as a member of Bucs, racking up his own fair share of hardware with a 2017 All-SoCon second team doubles honor and a 2016 SoCon Freshman of the Year award.
The connections between Tech and ETSU span into the coaching ranks as well, with current Golden Eagle assistant Rogerio Ribeiro part of the Buccaneer ranks as a player from 2011-12 to 2015-16. A three-time All-Conference first teamer, Ribeiro was also named the 2016 SoCon Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
ETSU leads the all-time series with Tech, 22-14, with the last meeting coming in 2015.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information