NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State men's tennis team (10-11, 0-3 OVC) fell 7-0 to conference-leaders Tennessee Tech (8-10, 5-0 OVC) Friday afternoon at the Currey Tennis Complex.
"Not a bad match," said head coach Monroe Walker. "Tennessee Tech is always very good and they are currently undefeated in the conference. The guys play fair and they have a great coach. Today's match shows us what we need to work on as a young team. I think everyone played really well. Shashank Nautiyal played a rank player and loss a break and 6-2 in the second. Across the board, we didn't play bad. We just have to work on a couple things and finish the season strong tomorrow."
After clinching the doubles point on courts two and three, the Golden Eagles swept the Tigers in singles in straight sets. Freshman Pavle Popovic closed the day pushing for a tiebreaker as he and Jorge Alfonzo were tied 4-4 in the second set. With a few faults and bad serves, the match seemed to even out before Alfonzo edged out Popovic, 6-4.
Big Blue will end its season closer and Senior Day tomorrow morning at the Currey Tennis Complex as they host Jacksonville State at 11 a.m. Shashank Nauityal will be graduating in May, and Ani Popiashvili, the sole student-athlete on the women's tennis team who will be leaving TSU, graduating in December 2017.
"It's going to be sad seeing Ani and Shashank leave; they were a part of my first recruiting class that I brought in. Both being transfers, they are graduating a little early compared to the others from that recruiting class. They were part of the ressurgence of TSU tennis - a part of turning the program around, and why we're able to have the most wins in program history. They're very hard workers. I'm definitely going to miss them, and hopefully as a team, we can rally, people can come out and we can send them off with a win."
TENNESSEE STATE 0, Tennessee Tech 7
1. #62 MENA, Eduardo (TTU) def. NAUTIYAL, Shashank (TSUM) 6-3, 6-2
2. ALBIN, Wenceslao (TTU) def. KORUGA, Stefan (TSUM) 6-1, 6-4
3. MILA, Marc (TTU) def. SLOAN, Larry (TSUM) 6-4, 6-2
4. ALFONZO, Jorge (TTU) def. POPOVIC, Pavle (TSUM) 7-5, 6-4
5. GARCIA, Gonzalo (TTU) def. MAHENDRU, Tanishq (TSUM) 6-2, 6-1
6. KUBOTA, Riku (TTU) def. RICHARDSON, Kato (TSUM) 6-1, 6-0
1. KORUGA, Stefan/POPOVIC, Pavle (TSUM) vs. JUSTO, Arthur/MILA, Marc (TTU) 5-2, unfinished
2. ALBIN, Wenceslao/KUBOTA, Riku (TTU) def. MAHENDRU, Tanishq/NAUTIYAL, Shashank (TSUM) 6-1
3. MENA, Eduardo/GARCIA, Gonzalo (TTU) def. RICHARDSON, Kato/SLOAN, Larry (TSUM) 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,1,5,3,2,4)