NASHVILLE --- In a heated match at the Currey Tennis Center Thursday evening, the Tennessee State men's and women's tennis team served a loss to in-state opponent Cumberland, 5-2.
TSU's men improved to 9-5, while the women improved to 9-1. The Big Blue win served as the first loss for CU's men, and the second for its women.
The afternoon began as expected with the men and women winning the doubles point. The women clinched it on courts two and three, led by Aarushi Kakkar and Abhilasha Vishwanath who finished 6-1 over junior Jasmine Shankar and freshman Ana Maria Collazos. However, the men had to battle through three matches to take the first-of-five points for the evening. Both doubles teams on courts one and three defeated the Phoenix, 6-4, helping the Tigers build up a momentum that would last for the entirety of the match.
The Phoenix men and women at No. 1 and 2 singles, defeated TSU, leaving the final four singles matches to help decide the match.
Sophomore Ashia Jones clinched the match for Big Blue's women, defeating Belen Salazar Yanez, 6-2, 6-2.
Shashank Nautiyal put up an easy 6-2, 6-3 win over Francisco Fernandez, followed by three matches pushed to tiebreakers. Stefan Koruga, freshman from Serbia, lost the first set, but came back for set two, winning it 6-2. With a vengeance, he repeated the effort and skill of the second set to win the tiebreaker 6-3, and put the Tigers one step closer to victory. As they were the final two to finish, both Tanishq Mahendru and Pavle Popovic shared the Currey Tennis Center. With the team standing midcourt inbetween the two, cheers of "Blue! White!" propelled them to victory, clinching another win for TSU.
The women host IUPUI in the Currey Tennis Center Sunday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. to round out the week.
TENNESSEE STATE MEN 5 vs. Cumberland 2
1. Ramon Puertolas (CU) def. GWINN, Jackson (TSUM) 6-1, 6-3
2. Pau Grabuleda (CU) def. SLOAN, Larry (TSUM) 6-1, 6-3
3. NAUTIYAL, Shashank (TSUM) def. Francisco Fernandez (CU) 6-2, 6-3
4. KORUGA, Stefan (TSUM) def. Riccardo Ferraris (CU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. MAHENDRU, Tanishq (TSUM) def. Axel Lucich (CU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
6. POPOVIC, Pavle (TSUM) def. Thiago Lopes (CU) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3'
7. RICHARDSON, Kato (TSUM) def. Omar Santiago-Nunez (CU), 6-2, 7-6
1. GWINN, Jackson/SLOAN, Larry (TSUM) def. Pau Grabuleda/Francisco Fernandez (CU) 6-4
2. Thiago Lopes/Axel Lucich (CU) def. KORUGA, Stefan/POPOVIC, Pavle (TSUM) 7-6
3. NAUTIYAL, Shashank/MAHENDRU, Tanishq (TSUM) def. Riccardo Ferraris/Ramon Puertolas (CU) 6-4
TENNESSEE STATE WOMEN 5 vs. Cumberland 2
1. Ainhoa Garrido (CU) def. POPIASHVILI, Ani (TSUW) 6-2, 6-2
2. Marianela Landi (CU) def. CAGE, Morgan (TSUW) 6-4, 6-2
3. KAKKAR, Aarushi (TSUW) def. Jasmine Shankar (CU) 6-0, 6-1
4. VISHWANATH, A (TSUW) def. Joana Bou (CU) 6-2, 6-1
5. JONES, Ashia (TSUW) def. Belen Salazar Yanez (CU) 6-2, 6-2
6. NATRAJ, Pragati (TSUW) def. Ana Maria Collazos (CU) 6-2, 6-1
7. GANDY, Phoenix (TSUW) def. Stefanie Navaratnam (CU) 8-3
1. CAGE, Morgan/JONES, Ashia (TSUW) vs. Ainhoa Garrido/Joana Bou (CU) unfinished
2. KAKKAR, Aarushi/VISHWANATH, A (TSUW) def. Jasmine Shankar/Ana Maria Collazos (CU) 6-1
3. POPIASHVILI, Ani/NATRAJ, Pragati (TSUW) def. Marianela Landi/Stephanie Navaratnam (CU) 6-0