By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – A busy weekend is on the books for the Tennessee Tech tennis team, with a trio of matches down in Lafayette, La. staring at the Golden Eagles.
Tech (2-6) will connect with the host Ragin Cajuns (9-5) Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. CT (moved from 9 a.m. due to expected rain in the area), before battling both East Carolina and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday for a doubleheader. TTU's matchup with ECU (8-1) is slated for 9 a.m. CT, while Tech's affair with the Islanders (8-1) is scheduled for 3 p.m. All three matches will be played on the Cajun Courts on the campus of the University of Louisiana.
The Golden Eagles have won two of their last three contests thanks to nods at UNC Asheville on Feb. 4 and at Lipscomb on Feb. 10. TTU was upended in its last tilt, a 6-1 loss at East Tennessee State on Feb. 18.
Freshman Gonzalo Garcia's four singles victories have paved the way for Tech, while senior No. 51 Eduardo Mena and junior Wenceslao Albin have each collected three wins apiece. Albin accounted for the Golden Eagles' lone point in their match at ETSU, striking for revenge on his former team with a straight-set win out of the No. 3 spot.
Tech's Weekend Competition:
Louisiana (9-5): The Ragin Cajuns have had their fare share of competition so far this spring, entering the weekend with already 14 matches under their belt. After a sluggish start to begin its campaign, Louisiana has gone on to win seven of its last eight matches. Vlad Karamarov and Pearse Dolan lead the singles brigade with identical 5-2 records, while Pierce Gilheany is a perfect 3-0, all out of the No. 6 spot. Gilheany and Dolan are also the Ragin Cajun doubles leaders, teaming up to go 4-0 this spring. The Golden Eagles lost the only previous meeting between the two squads, a 6-1 defeat in Lafayette on March 7, 2007.
East Carolina (8-1): The Pirates lone loss this season came at the hands of Davidson, a 4-3 defeat in Davidson on Feb. 3. Since the club's only L, ECU has rolled off four-straight wins, including a 6-1 victory over NC Central in the team's last match on Feb. 18. Three Pirates have notched six singles wins this spring, with Ronny Georgi and Wisse Jonker each recording a 6-1 mark, while Vlad Anghel has gone 6-3, playing in each of the top three positions. In doubles action, the tandem of Jonker and Javier Renones has proven to be the best ECU pair with a perfect 6-0 record. Saturday's meeting will mark the first in the all-time series between the two schools.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (8-1): Following a season-opening 4-0 loss at Texas, the Islanders have bounced back to win eight straight, including a 4-3 win over Rio Grande Valley in the group's last match on Feb. 16. Despite dropping the top two singles matches, the Islanders collected nods in the final four battles behind wins from Carlos Pedrosa, Thomas Rodrigues, Okkie Kellerman and Biyik Akinshemoyin. Saturday's matchup will be the first in the all-time series between the two programs.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information