JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – An overall tie-breaker in the final match of the day ended in a heartbreaker for Carson-Newman as the Eagles fell to Coker 5-4 on Sunday at the Buddy Catlett Tennis Complex.
The Eagles (2-9, 0-5 SAC) held an early 2-1 advantage before the Cobras (9-5, 2-1 SAC) stormed back in singles action to hand the Eagles their fifth-straight loss in the 2017-18 campaign. They are now 1-4 against Coker since 2014.
The Cobras started the day with an 8-4 win at the No. 1 doubles spot as Mark Watt and Henrik Hellbe took down Rodolfo Schwarz (Brazil) and Kevin Mendes (Chattanooga, Tenn.). This marks the fifth-straight loss for the top C-N duo.
Gabriel Dabdab (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Jesus Bacete-Sanz (Madrid, Spain) put the Eagles on the board at the second-seed with an 8-6 victory over Hunter Horton and Justus Lehman. That win was followed by another 8-6 doubles victory, this time at the No. 3 spot as Marc Bantel (Germany) and Taylor Barie (Woodstock, Ga.) topped the Coker tandem of Felix Schweyer and Simon Bergbom.
The win at the third-seed marked the end of a five-match losing streak for Bantel and Barie.
Watt tied the day at twos with a win over Dabdab at the No. 1 singles spot in back-to-back 7-6 tiebreaker victories.
Schwarz picked up his fifth-consecutive loss, falling at the three-seed to Schweyer in straight-sets, 6-2, 7-6.
As the Cobras went up 3-2, the scoring teeter-totter began for the duration of the dual.
Bantel dropped the first set in the No. 2 match with a 3-6 deficit to Horton before bouncing back with a 6-4 victory to send the two into a third-set tiebreaker. Bantel got the best of Horton with a 6-2 win to tie things back up, 3-3. The C-N junior broke a four-match losing streak with the win.
At the fifth-seeded position, Bacete-Sanz fell in a tough pair of sets to Lehman, 6-2, 6-0, before Mendes defeated Dominic Allan at the No. 6 spot in back-to-back 6-3 sets.
Mendes was the only Eagle to continue a singles winning streak on the day, moving to two-straight wins.
With the score tied 4-4, all eyes fell on Hellbe and Barie at the No. 4 spot in what became a major nail-biter.
Hellbe took the first set with a 6-3 advantage before a spirited Barie jumped back with a staunch 6-1 win, forcing the entire day to come down to one final set. Both men battled in the third set but it was Hellbe who came out victorious with a 6-4 win to give his team a 5-4 win.
Carson-Newman makes a Tuesday road trip to Anderson, S.C. to face the 23rd-ranked Trojans. First serve is set for 1:30 p.m. at the AU Tennis Complex.