KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Carson-Newman men's tennis fought their way into multiple three-set matches but only two were able to come out on top as the Eagles fell to the Tennessee Wesleyan Bulldogs 5-2 at the Knoxville Racquet Club Thursday evening.
At the No. 3 doubles position, the senior/freshman duo of Marc Bantel (Urbach, Germany) and Victor Ireno (Sau Paulo, Brazil) defeated Caio Bardauil and Ariel Spagnuolo 6-4. The Bulldogs tied it at one apiece as Rintaro Oka (Narita, Japan) and Joey Stiles (New Oxford, PA) were defeated by Francisco Lanusee and Gregorio Magnarelli 6-3 at the No. 2 position. All eyes then turned to the heated No. 1 doubles match that would determine who earned the doubles point. For the Eagles, Gabriel Dabdab (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Jesus Bacete-Sanz (Madrid, Spain) battled till the very last point but were unable to hold their ground against Ryan Lee and Caius Blomqvist. The Eagle pair fell in a tiebreaker 7-6 giving the Bulldogs the advantage going into singles play.
Moving into singles competition, the freshman from Japan had no issues at the No. 2 singles position. Oka defeated Spagnuolo handily 6-1, 6-2 giving the Eagles their first point of the day and improving his record to 5-2 for his first season with the Eagles. The final win for the Eagles came at the No. 4 singles position as Bacete-Sanz defeated Magnarelli. Falling in the first set 6-2, Bacete-Sanz fought his way back and won the second 6-3. Magnarelli wouldn't go down without a fight and the two battled it out in the third set but Bacete-Sanz was able to come out on top 7-5.
Stiles struggled to maintain composure at the No. 5 position and fell to Lanusee 6-4, 6-2. With the score now sitting at 2-2, the pressure was on for the rest of the Eagles.
Despite each of the remaining matches going into three sets, the Eagles were unable to finish on top. At No. 6, Ireno won his first set with ease 6-1 but Johann Osorio made his presence known in the second set taking it 6-4. Ireno was unable to gain his momentum back in the third set and fell 6-2. Bantel dropped his first set 6-3 but came back and won the second 6-4. He was unable to carry it into the third set and fell to Jorge Sedeno 6-1 in the third.
The No. 1 singles position was neck and neck from the beginning. Dabdab went head to head with Blomqvist and won the first set 7-5 giving him confidence going into the second. Falling behind, he dropped the second set 6-4 but took the third to a tiebreaker. Unable to find his footing again, Dabdab was defeated 7-6 (7-4).
The Eagles will be back in action on Saturday against North Georgia at 2 p.m. For more information, results and updates check back on cneagles.com.
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