The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's tennis team dropped a 5-2 match to Samford in the regular season finale at the UTC Tennis Courts this afternoon. Despite losing its third straight match, the Mocs are 13-8 overall, their most wins in a season since 2007.
Chattanooga will have to wait and see where their 4-6 league record puts them in the Southern Conference Tournament. Pairings should be out on Sunday for the event that begins on Thursday, April 19, in Charleston, S.C.
Samford took the first two doubles matches to grab a 1-0 lead. Juniors Ankit Chopra (Chandigrah, India) and Jackson Tresnan (Apopka, Fla.) did win the third match 8-7. They defeated Elliot Barnwell and Ryan Shidler 7-5 in the tiebreaker.
Despite dropping the doubles point, competition was tight throughout the day. Chopra tied the match with a (7-5, 6-1) win over Fernando Costa at No. 4. Alexander Sajonz gave the Bulldogs the lead moments later when he finished off Tresnan (6-3, 7-5) at No. 5.
Junior Manuel Barreotavena (Buenos Aires, Argentina) tied the match again with a (6-2, 6-2) win over Carson Kadi at No. 2. It was Barroetavena's team-high 20th win of the season as he improved to 16-4 in spring dual action. It is the most spring wins by a Moc since Peter Sauska went 16-4 in 2007.
The rest of the matches were all in a third set after Barroetavena's win. Freshman Pavels Grigorjevs (Riga, Latvia) battled back after being down a set against Garrison Laduca. He was serving for the match at 5-4 in the third, but eventually lost in a tiebreaker (6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5). UTC needed wins in the last two matches, but dropped both as the Bulldogs improved to 15-4 and 9-1 in SoCon play.
"We definitely had our chances and let some matches slip away today," stated head coach Carlos Garcia. "That being said, we were in it until the end against one of the top teams in the conference. We just have to find a way to win these close ones."
Be sure to check back to GoMocs.com on Sunday to see who UTC will face in the opening round of next week's SoCon Tournament.
Samford 5, Chattanooga 2
1. Zac Dunkle/Alexander Sajonz (SAM) def. Chris Smith/Roberto Vieira (UTC) - 8-4
2. Ankit Chopra/Jackson Tresnan (UTC) def. Elliot Barnwell/Ryan Shidler (SAM) - 8-7 (7-5)
3. Fernando Costa/Carson Kadi (SAM) def. Stephen Crofford/Pavels Grigorjevs (UTC) - 8-2
1. Zac Dunkle (SAM) def. Roberto Vieira (UTC) - 6-2, 5-7, 6-1
2. Manuel Barroetavena (UTC) def. Carson Kadi (SAM) - 6-2, 6-2
3. Elliot Barnwell (SAM) def. Chris Smith (UTC) - 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
4. Ankit Chopra (UTC) def. Fernando Costa (SAM) - 7-5, 6-1
5. Alexander Sajonz (SAM) def. Jackson Tresnan (UTC) - 6-3, 7-5
6. Garrison Laduca (SAM) def. Pavels Grigorjevs (UTC) - 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5)