Tennis teams get the advantage

Tennis teams get the advantage

The men’s tennis team won its fifth-straight match against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 6-1 on Friday, March 17. Continuing the celebratory weekend, the women’s team defeated Western Carolina University 4-3 on Saturday, March 18, at the Betty Siegel Courts.

Fermin Calvo Barcelo grabbed his third-straight win with his No. 3 singles and earned the title of ASUN Men’s Tennis Player of the Week. With the Owls leading 3-0, the sophomore from Argentina battled back to survive his first set in a tiebreaker and took the second set 6-3 for the win.

Calvo Barcelo teamed up with senior Sam Slade for a 6-1 win at No. 3 doubles spot. In singles play, sophomore Lucas de Torres Curth extended the lead to 2-0 when he completed a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 4 singles. Senior Drew Wendel followed closely after with his 6-2, 7-5 victory.

The Owls’ other singles win came from seniors Sam Pritchard at No. 1 (7-5, 6-4) and Jake Bouchillon at No. 6 spot and went to three sets. Bouchillon won the first 6-2 but dropped the second one 3-6, bouncing back in the final set and winning 6-3. Pritchard and de Torres Curth were victorious 6-0 in No. 1 doubles.

“Our team adapted quickly,” said Director of Tennis Eduardo Rincon. “I was a little concerned about the quick turnaround, but I was pleased with how we responded.”

For the women’s team, junior Alexandra Mercado and freshman Elle Baker started the day with a 6-2 win at No. 2 doubles. Continuing the trend, junior Kennedy Craig and sophomore Jessica Cantrell won 6-3 at the No. 3 spot.

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Junior Manuel Castellans hits a backhand to his Jacksonville State opponent on Feb. 23. Photo credit: Alisa Seripap

Mercado knocked off Jordan Strickland 6-2, 7-6 at No. 1 spot. Down early, Mercado came back from being down 5-2 in the second set to win a tiebreaker, earning her second-straight singles match victory and improving to 7-4 in single play this spring.

The Catamounts got one back with a win at No. 6, but the Owls snatched the victory when junior Cristina Perez-Martin won in straight sets 7-6, 6-4.

“This was a solid performance,” said assistant head coach Miranda Foley.

Both the men’s and women’s teams open their ASUN Conference schedule at home against the University of South Carolina Upstate on Wednesday, March 22.

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