KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Unable to capitalize on crucial points, Carson-Newman men's tennis team falls to the Citadel 7-2 in their season opener played at the University of Tennessee.
"We had a chance to win," Coach Jim Frederick said of the match. "We lost three close matches, and tiebreakers. Had we won that, who knows?"
The Eagles went 1-2 in doubles. Newcomers Rintaro Oka (Narita, Chiba) and Hernan Toledo (Santiago, Chile) defeated the Citadels' Roy Hobson and Will Graham 6-3 in the lone doubles win at the No. 2 spot. Gabriel Dabdab (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Jesus Bacete-Sanz (Madrid, Spain) lost in a tiebreaker to Gavin Stewart and Willem Van Zyl 7-5 at No. 1. Rounding out the doubles play was Marc Bantel (Urbach, Germany) and freshman Victor Ireno (Sau Paulo, Brazil) at No. 3 falling to Noah Nawabi and Phillip Quinn 6-2.
"Our two freshmen played well," Frederick said. Rin and Hernan won in doubles and we're right there in for out of the six singles matches, so we're right there."
On the singles side of competition, Dabdab, Toledo, and Bantel fought their way into three tiebreakers in their first sets but couldn't quite hold off the Bulldogs at No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 singles. All three fell in their matches 7-6, 6-2 against Hobson, Nawabi, and Zyl.
Oka was the lone Eagle to grab the dub in singles defeating Jack Pyritz 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 2 position. Concluding the singles play was Bacete and No. 5 falling to Stewart 6-2, 6-3, and Joseph Stiles (New Oxford, P.A.) dropping two sets to Phillip Quinn 6-1, 6-2.
"The effort was good," Frederick said. "We've got to get better at winning the important points in close matches. Against a division I team you can't give away important points, that's what a match comes down to. We played good offense and when we got in those tight situations, we just got tight."
The Eagles will travel to Lee University for their next match on February 14th, at 1 p.m. To stay up to date on what's happening shimmy back to cneagles.com.
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