Men’s tennis wins 7th meet in a row, women fall to Highlanders

Men’s tennis wins 7th meet in a row, women fall to Highlanders

The men’s tennis team continued its winning streak on Saturday, March 25, defeating the New Jersey Institute of Technology Highlanders 6-1, while the women’s team fell 5-2.

After starting the season with a 1-4 record, the men have won nine of their last 10 meets to improve to 10-5 overall. Heading into Saturday, the women had won four of their previous five matches but could not keep up the momentum.

To kick off the men’s successful day, senior Simon Pritchard won the first match for the Owls, defeating his opponent 6-4, 6-3. After their first loss, the Highlanders pulled one back and defeated Sam Slade 6-4, 6-3. After splitting the opening two matches, the Owls won the remaining four singles lines.

Sophomore Fermin Calvo Barcelo played in the first three-set match of the day, winning 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. Fellow sophomore Lucas de Torres Curth was also in a closely contested match, winning a second-set tiebreak seven points to three for a 6-2, 7-6 victory.

The second three-set match was won by senior Drew Wendel, who triumphantly overcame a long and difficult third-set tiebreak to win 6-3, 3-6, 11-9. David Durham closed out the singles matches with a 6-2, 6-3 victory, while also helping the Owls win the crucial doubles point.

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Junior Manuel Castellanos returns a shot from his Jacksonville State University opponent on Feb. 23. Photo credit: Alisa Seripap

“We capitalized on crucial points of the match,” said tennis director Eduardo Rincon. “It was a good experience for our guys playing out of the region and indoors.”

In sharp contrast to the men’s outstanding performance, the women relinquished a three-match win streak after falling to NJIT. Junior Alexandra Mercado and freshman Aspen Jarrett gave the Lady Owls their only wins of the day.

After being down one set, Mercado won her match in three difficult sets 5-7, 6-1, 7-6.

Jarrett salvaged an important point during the final match when she came out victorious. She won the first set 8-6 before her opponent retired from the match.

“I was proud of the way we finished,” said assistant head coach Miranda Foley. “[Mercado] kept her individual win count moving in the right direction while Cristina battled extremely hard in tough conditions.”

The men are now 2-0 in ASUN Conference play and move on to host North Florida University on March 30. The women fall to 1-1 in the conference with a 5-8 overall record, playing Akron University at home on March 28.

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