NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State men’s tennis team earned a pair of victories on Saturday at Hadley Park. In the first match, the Tigers earned a 5-2 victory over Eastern Illinois in an Ohio Valley Conference match before taking down Arkansas Pine Bluff by a 6-1 margin.
With the wins, TSU improves to 7-4 overall and 1-1 in OVC play.
Tennessee State 5, Eastern Illinois 2
Tennessee State earned the doubles point and never looked back en route to a 5-2 victory over Eastern Illinois.
“Great win for the guys,” TSU Head Coach Monroe Walker III said. “We came out with the best energy we have had all season. This is the first time we won the doubles point all year. That took the pressure off singles. This match was very intense, and EIU was a very good team. Shashank (Nautiyal) came out and dominated in singles. He got us our second point. Matt (Brown) was the biggest winner of the day. He won at No. 1 after being down a break in the third. He fought super hard and never gave up. He got us our third point. Kyle (Burton) got us our deciding point. He won in three sets and shook off nerves to get us the win. Grant (Maddox) also won at No. 6 and played awesome. He stayed composed and served well. I'm so happy and proud of them.”
At No. 2 doubles, Kyle Burton and Tom Vanden Broeck-Parant cruised to a 6-0 win, while the No. 3 pairing of Jorge Rodriguez and Shashank Nautiyal played their way to a 7-5 victory to pick up the point.
Moving to singles, the Tigers won at No. 1, 4, 5 and 6 singles for the team’s first OVC victory this season.
Matthew Brown fell behind in his No. 1 singles match, dropping the first set to Gage Kingsmith. He quickly responded with scores of 6-3, 7-6 (9-7) for the win.
Playing No. 4 and No. 6 respectively, Nautiyal and Grant Maddox secured straight-set victories. Burton’s No. 5 match went back and forth, finishing in Burton’s favor by scores of 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
1. BROWN, Matthew (TSUM) def. KINGSMITH, Gage (EIU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-6 (9-7)
2. JANJUSIC, Marko S. (EIU) def. RODRIGUEZ, Jorge (TSUM) 6-4, 6-0
3. REIMAN, Grant (EIU) def. PARANT, Tom (TSUM) 6-3, 6-1
4. NAUTIYAL, Shashank (TSUM) def. WOODSON, Jared (EIU) 6-2, 6-1
5. BURTON, Kyle (TSUM) def. REIMAN, Trent (EIU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
6. MADDOX, Grant (TSUM) def. AMMER, Ferdinand (EIU) 7-5, 6-2
1. KINGSMITH, Gage/REIMAN, Grant (EIU) def. MADDOX, Grant/BROWN, Matthew (TSUM) 6-4
2. BURTON, Kyle/PARANT, Tom (TSUM) def. AMMER, Ferdinand/REIMAN, Trent (EIU) 6-0
3. RODRIGUEZ, Jorge/NAUTIYAL, Shashank (TSUM) def. WENDELL, Jacob/WOODSON, Jared (EIU) 7-5
Tennessee State 6, Arkansas Pine Bluff 1
The Tigers completed the sweep with a convincing 6-1 win over Arkansas Pine Bluff in the nightcap.
“Guys had a great day,” Walker III said. “Two wins is what we needed to get our confidence going. Everyone is playing really well and hard. We dominated Pine Bluff today and that’s the result of hard work in practice. I’m proud of our guys and looking forward to playing again on Thursday.”
Burton and Parant were again victorious at No. 2 doubles, winning by a 6-4 final score. At No. 3 doubles, Rodriguez and Nautiyal paired for a 6-1 win for the doubles point.
The Tigers won five of the six singles matches, including three in straight sets.
Tied at one set apiece at No. 1 singles, Brown was leading Jualon Greig, 5-3, in the third when his opponent retired. Earning straight-set wins were Parant at No. 2, Nautiyal at No. 4 and Larry Sloan at No. 5.
Freshman Kato Richardson fought his way to a three-set win at No. 6 singles on the afternoon.
1. BROWN, Matthew (TSUM) def. GREIG, Jualon (APB) 6-4, 1-6, 5-3, retired
2. PARANT, Tom (TSUM) def. RAHMAN, Sajid (APB) 6-2, 6-2
3. VANGALA, Aravind (APB) def. RODRIGUEZ, Jorge (TSUM) 6-7, 6-4, 10-6
4. NAUTIYAL, Shashank (TSUM) def. LEDWABA, Khusto (APB) 6-1, 6-0
5. SLOAN, Larry (TSUM) def. LEWIS, Simon (APB) 6-2, 6-1
6. RICHARDSON, Kato (TSUM) def. LEDBETTER, Le'darrie (APB) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
1. MADDOX, Grant/BROWN, Matthew (TSUM) vs. RAHMAN, Sajid/LEWIS, Simon (APB) 5-5, unfinished
2. BURTON, Kyle/PARANT, Tom (TSUM) def. GREIG, Jualon/LEDBETTER, Le'darrie (APB) 6-4
3. RODRIGUEZ, Jorge/NAUTIYAL, Shashank (TSUM) def. LEDWABA, Khusto/VANGALA, Aravind (APB) 6-1
TSU hits the road to take on Alabama A&M on Thursday, April 6.