JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. -- After a much needed win against Mars Hill just two days ago, Carson-Newman men's tennis prepares to shimmy on down the road to Salisbury, N.C. to take on the Catawba Indians for their next conference matchup on Saturday.
"Catawba is a really strong team, so we know it's going to be tough," senior member Jesus Bacete-Sanz said of the Indians. "We've had really thorough practices working on things individually and a lot on our doubles because that is something we feel like we need to improve."
The Eagles have gone 3-5 against the Indians in the past eight meetings. The last win came in 2017 when Bacete-Sanz's singles match was the deciding match that gave C-N the 5-4 win. He held on and defeated Cason Hiers 6-4, 7-5 earning his first conference win of that season as well. Last season the match progressed in similar fashion as it once again came down to the last singles match but the results were flipped and instead the Eagles fell 5-4.
"I'm looking forward to playing Catawba to see if we can repeat what we did two years ago."
The doubles side of competition has proved to be a weak spot for the Eagles since the beginning of the season. They have yet to win a doubles point this season and have switched around the duos the last couple of matches to find who works best together. Due to the doubles now being best two out of three in order to earn the one point, the matches hold a bit more weight it seems as the fight for that one point typically gives the team who wins it quite the confidence and momentum going into singles play.
"After talking to the team about it, we think we need to change some stuff," Bacete-Sanz said of the doubles teams. "We think it's worth it to see what we can do better."
Back to the Catawba College Catawba Indians, they are sitting at No. 5 in the South Atlantic Conference standings with a 3-2 SAC record on the season and a 10-6 record overall. They are returning five players, including Hiers that Bacete-Sanz faced two years ago.
The Eagles will jump on the road bright and early Saturday morning and play will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Johnson Tennis Center. For results and updates check back on cneagles.com.
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