NASHVILLE --- In its first of two home matches this week, the Tennessee State men's tennis team (8-5) dropped the match against the Saint Louis Billikens, 7-0 Wednesday night at the Currey Tennis Center.
"Well, today is kind of what we needed - a tough match to push us," said head coach Monroe Walker. "Even though we lost, we competed well. Tommorrow's a new day. Today, we lacked energy as a team, but we'll come out with a new energy tomorrow."
Saint Louis began by clinching the doubles point with play on courts one and two, where the duo of Jackson Gwinn and Larry Sloan competed at No. 1, and fell 6-4 to David Ferragut and Juan Calero. Gwinn and Sloan are now 1-1 on the season as a pair. The Biliken Nogalski brothers, John and Justin hit court No. 2 against Shashank Nautiyal and Tanishq Mahendru.
With the doubles point clinched, Saint Louis continued its stride into singles. The Billikens pushed for wins on the first three courts, while Stefan Koruga and Pavle Popovic put up big fights. Both Tigers forced a tiebreaker set with Koruga at No. 4 and Popovic at No. 5. Koruga was down 8-6 when he hit a great shot that closed the gap to one. Pachon etched out the last two points, clinching the match for the Bilikens and increasing its overall record to 5-3, dropping TSU's to 8-5.
The Tigers host Cumberland tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. back at the Currey Tennis Center.
TENNESSEE STATE (8-5) vs Saint Louis (5-3)
1. David Ferragut (SLUM) def. GWINN, Jackson (TSUM) 6-2, 6-3
2. John Nogalski (SLUM) def. SLOAN, Larry (TSUM) 6-2, 6-3
3. Juan Calero (SLUM) def. NAUTIYAL, Shashank (TSUM) 6-3, 6-3
4. Oscar Pachon (SLUM) def. KORUGA, Stefan (TSUM) 3-6, 6-1, 10-7
5. Justin Nogalski (SLUM) def. POPOVIC, Pavle (TSUM) 6-2, 3-7, 10-6
6. Kenji Yanaba (SLUM) def. MAHENDRU, Tanishq (TSUM) 6-1, 7-5
1. David Ferragut/Juan Calero (SLUM) def. GWINN, Jackson/SLOAN, Larry (TSUM) 6-4
2. John Nogalski/Justin Nogalski (SLUM) def. NAUTIYAL, Shashank/MAHENDRU, Tanishq (TSUM) 6-2
3. POPOVIC, Pavle/KORUGA, Stefan (TSUM) vs. Oscar Pachon/Kenji Yanaba (SLUM) unfinished