Junior Roberto Vieira (Bedfordview, South Africa) has been battling a foot injury for the past few weeks. After sitting out the Charleston trip last weekend, he found himself in a three-set battle with Wofford's Tinus Van Wyk with the match on the line.
UTC led 3-2 before foul weather forced the No. 1 and No. 4 matches into the UTC Racquet Center. Junior Ankit Chopra (Chandigrah, India) looked ready to put the win away, leading 5-4 in the third set. However, he dropped the next three games to Rob Galloway (6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 7-5) to lose the point.
That left the match all-square at three with all eyes on Vieira and Van Wyk's battle at No. 1. Vieira won the first set outside 7-6. He dropped the second indoors, 6-2 and quickly fell behind 3-0 in the third set. He looked rusty after being off the court for over a week, but he quickly got back in the match. He won the next five to shock the Bulldogs.
Van Wyk looked like he had a little life when he went up 40-love in the 5-3 game. However, Vieira came roaring back to close out the match with his third straight service break.
"This was another conference battle today," stated head coach Carlos Garcia. "This league is so even and things could have gone either way today. I feel real lucky to get the win, but I will take it."
Vieira improved to 12-10 overall and 8-6 at No. 1. Junior Manuel Barroetaven (Buenos Aires, Argentina) stayed at his No. 2 spot and won his 11th straight match. He downed Drew Superstein (6-3, 6-4) to improve to 18-6 overall. He is also 7-0 in league play.
"It was great to see Roberto back on the courts battling today," added Garcia. "I really like the lineup with him out there. I also liked getting wins in our top three spots. After losing the doubles point, that was huge."
Junior Chris Smith (Johnson City, Tenn.) defeated Jackson Keith (7-5, 6-3) at No. 3. The win evened Smith's singles record at 12-12. Junior Jackson Tresnan (Apopka, Fla.) had the other singles win. He defeated Tom Wood (6-1, 6-3) to improve to 13-5 overall and 9-5 at No. 5.
UTC is back on the court tomorrow against Davidson. The Mocs host the Wildcats on the courts at Chattanooga's Baylor School. First serve is set for 1:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) and a link for live scoring is available on the men's tennis schedule page on GoMocs.com.
Chattanooga 4, Wofford 3
1. Tinus Van Wyk/Rob Galloway (WOF) def. Manuel Barroetavena/Roberto Vieira (UTC) - 8-4
2. Ankit Chopra/Chris Smith (UTC) def. Stuart Robertson/Tom Wood (WOF) - 8-4
3. Walker Heffron/Jackson Keith (WOF) def. Pavels Grigorjevs/Stephen Crofford (UTC) - 8-6
1. Roberto Vieira (UTC) def. Tinus Van Wyk (WOF) - 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 6-3
2. Manuel Barroetavena (UTC) def. Drew Superstein (WOF) - 6-3, 6-4
3. Chris Smith (UTC) def. Jackson Keith (WOF) - 7-5, 6-3
4. Rob Galloway (WOF) def. Ankit Chopra (UTC) - 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 7-5
5. Jackson Tresnan (UTC) def. Tom Wood (WOF) - 6-1, 6-3
6. Walker Heffron (WOF) def. Pavels Grigorjevs (UTC) - 6-1, 6-3