SUNDAY 9/9 RECAP
By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
ATHENS, Ga. – Riku Kubota's sterling run in the Tennessee Tech's tennis team's first event of the fall picked up steam Sunday, but ultimately came to a close in the semifinals of the Southern Intercollegiate Championships hosted by the University of Georgia.
Kubota, who entered the third day in the quarterfinals after rattling off three singles wins over the first two days of the tournament, advanced to the semis with a straight-set, 6-2, 6-4 win over Georgia Gwinnett's Gregor Hutterer in the quarters.
With only four competitors remaining in the rigorous field, Kubota's march to a championship was cut just short after falling 6-4, 6-2 in the semifinals to Enrique Paya out of the University of Arkansas.
Kubota also impressed on the doubles circuit, teaming up with fellow sophomore Gonzalo Garcia and making it all the way to the semifinals. The pair entered Sunday in the quarters and captured a captivating battle with an 8-7 (3) nod over Stetson's Christain Mills and Dennis Moses to advance to the semifinals.
Two wins away from the title, the Golden Eagle duo narrowly lost 8-6 to Point's Federico Barbon and Julien Pereira.
The Golden Eagles will next hit the courts in the Chattanooga Collegiate Clay Court Championships, hosted by Chattanooga. The three-day event is set for Friday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 16.
SATURDAY 9/8 RECAP
By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
ATHENS, Ga. – A banner day by sophomore Riku Kubota highlighted the Tennessee Tech's tennis team's second day of the Southern Intercollegiate Championships at the University of Georgia.
One of six Golden Eagles competing in the event, Kubota won his match during the singles Round of 16 to advance to Sunday's quarterfinal. The Takasaki, Gunma, Japan native knocked off Stetson's Linus Bergevi 6-4, 6-4 to become the last remaining Golden Eagle in the singles quarterfinals. Kubota will square off with Georgia Gwinnett's Gregor Hutterer with a spot in the semifinals up for grabs.
Kubota proved to be just as sharp on the doubles side of the equation, teaming up with fellow sophomore Gonzalo Garcia to make the doubles quarterfinals as well. After a first round bye pushed the pair into the Round of 16, the Tech tandem secured an 8-4 nod over Stetson's Christain Mills and Dennis Moses to put themselves in Sunday's quarterfinals.
TTU newcomers Rafael Tosetto and Lucca Silva nearly mirrored Kubota's and Garcia's success behind a first-round 8-5 victory against UNC Wilmington's Davide Innocenti and Michael Morphy, but the Golden Eagle duo's run was cut short with an 8-1 loss to Gardner Webb's Maximillian Scholl and Millen Hurrion in the Round of 16.
After winning his first two singles matches as a Golden Eagle, Rafael Tosetto gave Oscar Mesquida of Arkansas quite the battle, but ultimately Tosetto dropped the Round of 16 clash in three sets (6-3, 6-7, 6-2).
Gonzalo Garcia drew a similar fate in his Round of 16 matchup, falling 6-0, 6-4 to UNC Wilmington's Dillion Gooch. Garcia had joined Kubota and Tosetto as the only three Golden Eagles to advance to the singles Round of 16 with a pair of Friday wins.
Fanis Kontopoulos registered another victory in the consolation bracket after rebounding Friday with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Kennesaw State's Jack Sorel. The Golden Eagle newcomer out of Corinthos, Greece carried that momentum into Saturday, powering past East Tennessee State's Taisei Miyamoto with a 6-3, 7-5 nod.
Lucca Silva, who also went 1-1 on Friday, dropped his Saturday clash with a 6-1, 6-2 loss against Mercer's Fernando Guardia. Marc Mila rounded out Tech's action with a loss against Kennesaw State's Fermin Calvo on Saturday. Mila fell 6-0 in the first set and retired in the second.
FRIDAY 9/7 RECAP
By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
ATHENS, Ga. – The Tennessee Tech tennis team officially kicked off the 2018-19 season Friday, opening the fall slate at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships at the University of Georgia.
Six Golden Eagles made the trip south representing the purple and gold, with three jumping out to early success on the new season.
A newcomer to the Tech roster, Rafael Tosetto gathered his first win in collegiate competition, defeating Georgia Gwinnett's Valentino Caratini 6-3, 6-4 in the Division I Singles Round of 64. The Golden Eagle rookie followed it up with a victory in straight sets (6-2, 6-1) over Columbus State's Tommaso Schold to set up a match-up against Oscar Mesquida of Arkansas on Saturday in the Round of 16.
A sophomore returner to the roster, Gonzalo Garcia also fought his way to the Round of 16, starting with a three-set battle won over Lipscomb's Pedro Uribe. He won 6-4 before falling 6-3 in the second set. He finished things with a 6-3 battle for the win. Garcia then captured another victory on the day, edging Ryan Kros of Virginia Tech 7-6 (7), 6-4. He will take on Dillion Gooch of UNC Wilmington on Saturday.
Also back in action for his sophomore campaign, Riku Kubota faced off with an in-state foe in East Tennessee State's Mark Papadopolous, winning 6-4, 6-2. Kubota advanced to the Round of 16 with a three-set victory over Juan Sebastian of Kennesaw State, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. The Golden Eagle youngster will face off against Stetson's Linus Bergevi on Saturday.
Freshman newbie Lucca Silva fell in his first-round match-up against Stetson's Dennis Moses, 6-1, 5-7, 6-7. He quickly rebounded in the consolation bracket, taking down Chris Mikrovas of East Tennessee State in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. He is set to meet up against Mercer's Fernando Guardia on Saturday.
Another newcomer to the Golden Eagle roster, North Carolina Central transfer Fanis Kontopoulos, rebounded from a first-round loss as well. Cole Groetsch of UNC Wilmington defeated Kontopoulos 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-0. The Tech junior came back in a win over Kennesaw State's Jack Sorel, earning a 6-2, 6-4 victory. He will match up against East Tennessee State's Taisei Miyamoto on Saturday.
Rounding out the action for Tech was junior Marc Mila, who lost to Sergi Fontcuberta of East Tennessee State, 6-4, 6-2. He is slated for Saturday tilt against Fermin Calvo Barcelo of Kennesaw State.
Doubles play will get underway on Saturday as well, with Silva and Tosetto teaming up for a spat with UNC Wilmington's duo of Davide Innocenti and Michael Morphy. Also representing the Golden Eagles will be the combo of Garcia and Kubota. The two will take on the winner of a match-up between doubles teams from Gardner Webb and Arkansas.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information