Mocs Drop a Tight 4-3 Match to Elon
Sophomore Stephen Crofford
Courtesy: GoMocs.com
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's tennis team dropped a 4-3 match to Elon on the UTC Tennis Courts today.  The Mocs won three singles, but lost the doubles point that proved to be the difference in the contest.  UTC falls to 7-8 overall and 2-2 in the Southern Conference while Elon improves to 8-5 and 2-0 in league matches. 

"Elon is a program that you can use to judge how much you are improving," stated head coach Carlos Garcia.  "To battle them in a close match after being swept in doubles shows that we are moving in the right direction."

The Mocs had won seven doubles points in a row, and eight of the last nine, coming into today's match.  However, the Phoenix took the opening lead without much challenge.  The closest match was at No. 1 where sophomores Roberto Vieira (Bedfordview, South Africa) and Chris Smith (Johnson City, Tenn.) lost to Phillip Nemec and Chase Helpingstine (8-5). 

Chattanooga tried to bounce back in singles play, jumping out to an early lead in four of the six matches.  However, it was Elon that extended its advantage to 3-0 in the team score with quick wins at No. 4 and No. 5. 

The Mocs got on the board when sophomore Stephen Crofford (Franklin, Tenn.) won his second-straight at No. 6.  He was down 5-2 in the second set before storming back to clinch the (6-2, 7-5) win. 

Chattanooga needed to sweep the three remaining tightly contested matches to post a come-back win.  Vieira and Smith were both in three-set battles at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.  Sophomore Jackson Tresnan (Apopka, Fla.) lost his first set 7-5 to Eric Turner.  He fell behind 3-0 in his second set and tried to claw his was back in the match, but eventually lost 6-3 to give Elon the team win.

"I was proud of the way our guys battled today," continued Garcia.  "For us to play this well against a team like that is definitely a good sign for things to come."

Vieira had already started his third set with Nemec when the match was decided, so they played a full slate.  Vieira took the opening set 6-2, before Nemec responded with a 6-4 win in the second.  Vieira closed out the match with a 6-4 win in the third for his 10th singles victory of the year.  He also improved to 6-4 at No.1 for the Mocs. 

Smith won his first set (7-6 (4)) over Cameron Silverman, but lost the second 6-4.  Their second set finished after the team score was decided, so they played a 10-point super-tiebreaker to decide the outcome.  Smith won the final frame 10-6 to improve to 8-6 in dual matches this spring. 

The Mocs wrap-up their seven-match homestand next weekend, hosting Stetson and Appalachian State.  Chattanooga welcomes the Hatters on Friday, March 25, at 2:00 p.m. while the Mountaineers visit on Sunday, March 27, at 1:00 p.m.  Both contests will be played on the UTC Tennis Courts.  Live scoring will be available for both matches on GoMocs.com. 

Elon 4, Chattanooga 3
Mar 20, 2011 at Chattanooga, Tenn. (UTC Tennis Courts)
Doubles competition
1. Phillip Nemec-Chase Helpingstine (ELON) def. Chris Smith-Roberto Vieira (UTC) - 8-5
2. Alberto Rojas-Cody S-MacDowell (ELON) def. William Disterdick-Rick van de Bovenkamp (UTC) - 8-4
3. Cameron Silverman-Eric Turner (ELON) def. Stephen Crofford-Jackson Tresnan (UTC) - 8-4

Singles competition
1. Roberto Vieira (UTC) def. Phillip Nemec (ELON) - 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
2. Chris Smith (UTC) def. Cameron Silverman (ELON) - 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 1-0 (10-6)
3. Eric Turner (ELON) def. Jackson Tresnan (UTC) - 7-5, 6-3
4. Chase Helpingstine (ELON) def. Matt Harris (UTC) - 6-2, 6-0
5. Alberto Rojas (ELON) def. Rick van de Bovenkamp (UTC) - 6-1, 6-0
6. Stephen Crofford (UTC) def. Phillip Meyer (ELON) - 6-2, 7-5

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