Clarksville, Tenn. --- The Tennessee State men's tennis team opened Ohio Valley Conference play against the Austin Peay Govs Friday afternoon. Big Blue defeated APSU 4-3 after dominating in singles play, winning four-of-the-six matchups.
The Tigers have improved to 10-6 on the season, while Austin Peay drops to 1-12.
"Great win for the guys," said head coach Monroe Walker. "We have been traiing them hard and to start confernce with a win was great. We played great singles and never gave up. This is the best tennis I've seen Austin Peay play."
The blue and white had a rough start, dropping the doubles point with Governor wins at No. 1 and No. 3.
Coming from behind, the men's energy picked up in singles play, with Tigers on courts three through six picking up victories over the red and black.
Newcomers Stefan Koruga, Tanishq Mahendru and Pavle Popovic posted their first conference wins as Tigers. Koruga defeated sophomore Timo Kiesslich 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3, improving to 4-2 on the season at the position. Mahendru is now 5-5 in dual play with the 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 battle over Jacob Lorino at No. 5, and Popovic also playing a tiebreaker winning 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 over Indiana-native Evan Bottorff.
The Tigers have a week before hosting Alabama A&M in the Currey Tennis Center at noon on Saturday, March 24.
TENNESSEE STATE 4, Austin Peay 3
1. OZELIS, Almantas (APSU) def. GWINN, Jackson (TSUM) 6-0, 6-0
2. EDISON, Christian (APSU) def. SLOAN, Larry (TSUM) 6-1, 6-1
3. NAUTIYAL, Shashank (TSUM) def. DROBYSH, Aleh (APSU) 6-4, 7-5
4. KORUGA, Stefan (TSUM) def. KIESSLICH, Timo (APSU) 6-2, 6-1
5. MAHENDRU, Tanishq (TSUM) def. LORINO, Jacob (APSU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
6. POPOVIC, Pavle (TSUM) def. BOTTORFF, Evan (APSU) 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
1. OZELIS, Almantas/DROBYSH, Aleh (APSU) def. GWINN, Jackson/SLOAN, Larry (TSUM) 6-1
2. POPOVIC, Pavle/KORUGA, Stefan (TSUM) vs. EDISON, Christian/LORINO, Jacob (APSU) 3-4, unfinished
3. KIESSLICH, Timo/WOODHAM, Chad (APSU) def. NAUTIYAL, Shashank/MAHENDRU, Tanishq (TSUM) 6-2
*Due to conference ruling, the final team score is null and void.