By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont came to town and spoiled the Tennessee Tech tennis team's home opener, as the Bruins claimed a 4-3 win in a battle of the OVC's top two teams from a season ago.
Like last year, Belmont (8-8, 1-0 OVC) captures the regular season meeting, however the Golden Eagles (4-12, 0-1 OVC) would go on to best the Bruins in the 2018 OVC Tournament championship match in Nashville en route to TTU's third straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Saturday's OVC opener featured success from the bottom of the purple and gold singles lineup, with wins out of the bottom three spots for Tech. Riku Kubota collected a 6-4, 7-6 victory over Zak Khan in the No. 4 position, while Wencelsao Albin secured a 6-3, 4-6, 10-4 nod against Vincent Sterkens in the No. 5 slot and Lucca Silva registered a 6-4, 6-2 win over Jake Briggs in the No. 2 meeting.
The Bruins found success at the top of the singles order behind wins out of the top three battles. Hendrik Inno knocked off Rafael Tosetto, 6-4, 6-4, in the No. 1 clash, while Marco Ilic defeated Carlos Vicente, 6-4, 6-4, in the No. 2 tilt and Joan Valy powered past Elias Grubert, 6-4, 7-6, in the No. 3 position.
The doubles point proved pivotal with the two teams splitting the six singles matchups, and with nods out of the No. 1 and No. 3 slots, the Bruins seized the key point. Inno and Ilic picked up a 6-1 win over Silva and Fanis Kontopoulos in the No. 1 affair and Sterkens and Grant Kelly claimed a 6-1 victory against Vicente and Tosetto in the No. 3 spot.
The Golden Eagles will remain at home, welcoming in-state foe Lipscomb to town for a Monday meeting at Tech Tennis Courts. The match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. CT. Admission is free of charge.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information