NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In a back-and-forth match, the Tennessee State men’s tennis team showed a gritty effort in a 4-3 loss to Morehead State at Hadley Park on Friday in Ohio Valley Conference action.
Tennessee State (6-9, 0-3 OVC) won the doubles points with victories at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. In singles, Daniel Bernal (Bogota, Colombia) earned a victory at No. 1, while Jorge Rodriguez (Bogota, Colombia) added a No. 3 singles win. Morehead State (4-7, 3-0 OVC) picked up wins at No. 2, 4, 5 and 6 singles.
The deciding match was at No. 2 singles where Shashank Nautiyal (Delhi, India) battled cramps, eventually falling in the tiebreaker in the third set.
“Great match for the men,” TSU Head Coach Monroe Walker III said. “It came down to the last match. That’s all I ask from them is to fight. Shashank (Nautiyal) did a great job fighting and staying in there. That’s what I need, players with heart. I need the bottom of the lineup to step up because it can’t just be the top of the lineup earning points if we want to make the OVC Tournament.”
Grant Maddox (Greenbrier, Tenn.) and Kyle Burton (Madison, Tenn.) teamed up for a 6-4 victory at No. 2 doubles. The pairing of Nautiyal and Rodriguez added a 6-3 No. 3 doubles victory to give TSU the doubles point.
Bernal’s 7-6 (3), 6-3 win was his second-consecutive No. 1 singles victory. At No. 3, Rodriguez won the first set before falling in the second. In the third set, Rodriguez pulled out a 7-6 (7-2) victory to secure the win.
The Tigers are back at Hadley Park tomorrow to face Eastern Kentucky at 10 a.m. and Fisk at 4 p.m.
1. KRUUNENBERG, Ritchie/RUIZ, Gabriel (MOR) def. BERNAL, Daniel/DANIEL, Amir (TSU) 6-0
2. MADDOX, Grant/BURTON, Kyle (TSU) def. MERCER, Nick/SAMUDIO, Enrique (MOR) 6-4
3. NAUTIYAL, Shashank/RODRIGUEZ, Jorge (TSU) def. MANDRELL, Garret/PENALOZA, Sebastain (MOR) 6-3
1. BERNAL, Daniel (TSU) def. KRUUNENBERG, Ritchie (MOR) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
2. RUIZ, Gabriel (MOR) def. NAUTIYAL, Shashank (TSU) 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2)
3. RODRIGUEZ, Jorge (TSU) def. SAMUDIO, Enrique (MOR) 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7-2)
4. MERCER, Nick (MOR) def. BURTON, Kyle (TSU) 6-3, 6-2
5. PENALOZA, Sebastain (MOR) def. MADDOX, Grant (TSU) 6-3, 6-3
6. MANDRELL, Garret (MOR) def. DANIEL, Amir (TSU) 6-0, 6-0