Bacete-Sanz finds his footing, but the rest of the Eagles struggle to get in a groove against nationally-ranked Sewanee

SEWANEE, Tenn. – Carson-Newman's men's tennis team secures only one win in their faceoff against the College of the South Sunday afternoon in Sewanee, Tenessee falling 8-1 against the nationally-ranked Tigers. 

The only division three school on Carson-Newman's schedule, Sewanee's men's tennis team is ranked No. 23 in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association this season. On top of that, Jack Gray of the Tigers was ranked 13th in the Atlantic South region in singles play. Gray finished his junior campaign with a 12-7 record and earned SAA Player of the Year, ITA Atlantic South Player to Watch and appeared in the NCAA Singles Championship. The Eagles knew heading into the match that the competition would be at a high level. 

Conveniently, due to weather, the Eagles have been spending a lot of time practicing indoors at the Knoxville Racquet Club. So, heading into the match, the Eagles were somewhat prepared for the fast indoor courts at Sewanee's facilities. But at the end of the day, only one win could be mustered against the nationally ranked team. 

Since Sewanee is a DIII team, the match was played according to DIII rules. This means that each doubles match this time around counted as an individual point and not best two out of three for the point as in C-N's previous matches so far this season. Additionally, doubles matches were played to eight games instead of six. 

The doubles game was competitive for the Eagles as they each were just a couple games shy of coming out with wins. At No. 1 for the Eagles in doubles was Gabriel Dabdab (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Jesus Bacete-Sanz (Madrid, Spain). They were defeated by previously mentioned Gray and Jordan Brewer 8-6. At No. 2 was Rintaro Oka (Narita, Japan) and Hernan Toledo (Santiago, Chile) playing against Andres Carro and Fletcher Kerr of Sewanee. The two Eagles fell with the same score as their teammates at No. 1, 8-6. The last doubles duo for C-N was comprised of Marc Bantel (Urbach, Germany) and Victor Ireno (Sau Paulo, Brazil). The duo fell to Aubrey Davis and Hayden Loeb 8-5.

The top two singles matches were hard fought, and both went into three sets. Dabdab came out of the gun ready to play and clinched the first set against Carro 6-4 but couldn't carry the momentum into the second and lost it 6-3. Dabdab ended up dropping the third 10-7. At No. 2 singles was the undefeated freshman from Japan for the Eagles. Oka dropped the first set to Brewer of the Tigers 6-2 but came back in the second winning 6-1. The third set didn't fall in Oka's favor as he fell 6-2 making his record 4-1 on the season so far.  

At the No. 3 singles, Toledo was defeated handily by Gray of Sewanee 6-0, 6-0. Bantel fell to Brandon Kali 6-0, 6-3 at No. 4 and Stiles was defeated by Jack Metzger 6-2, 6-0 at No. 6.

The only win of the day for the Eagles came at the No. 5 singles position by Bacete-Sanz. He won the first set fairly handily 6-3 but had to battle through the second against Kerr. Bacete-Sanz came out on top and secured the win 7-5 in the second set. 

The Eagles are now 1-4 on the season and will compete again against the University of Tennessee Chattanooga on February 23rdin Chattanooga at 6 p.m. For more information and updates, check back on 

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