The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's tennis team posted a 4-3 victory over Davidson in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament in Charleston, S.C., today. With the scored tied at 2-2 and the remaining three singles matches in third sets, the Mocs took two of the final contests to secure the win.
UTC, the No. 8 team in the tournament, will now face top-seeded College of Charleston at 8:30 a.m. (E.D.T.) on Friday at the Cougar's Tennis Center. A link for live scoring is available on the men's tennis schedule page on GoMocs.com.
UTC avenged a 4-3 loss to the Wildcats on April 1 with today's win. Chattanooga opened with a 1-0 lead after taking the doubles point. Juniors Manuel Barroetavena (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Jackson Tresnan (Apopka, Fla.) dropped Chris Mark and Nicky Kunz (8-6) at No. 2, followed by juniors Ankit Chopra (Chandigrah, India) and Stephen Crofford's (Franklin, Tenn.) (8-5) win at No. 3 over Kevin Moore and Ethan Kallick.
Freshman Pavels Grigorjevs (Riga, Latvia) did not play against the Wildcats in the regular season, but quickly made his presence known today. He put Chattanooga up 2-0 with a (6-1, 6-1) win over Connor Evins at No. 6. It was UTC's first point at No. 6 in six matches as Grigorjevs snapped his own three-match skid.
Davidson tied the score at 2-2 with wins at No. 3 and No. 4. The last three singles bouts went to three sets with the Mocs needing wins in two to advance. Junior Roberto Vieira (Bedfordview, South Africa) lost at No. 1 to Joe Shafer (3-6, 6-4, 6-4), putting the UTC into a 3-2 hole.
Barroetavena responded with his team-leading 21st win of the year. He came from behind to beat Mark (4-6, 6-2, 6-2) at No. 2 and tie the score again at 3-3. After falling behind a set and 0-2 in the second, he ran off 10-straight games. He won 12 of the last 14 games to take the win.
Tresnan clinched the team victory with a wild (6-3, 3-6, 7-5) win over Robert Lightbourn at No. 5. He would need 11 match points to put the Wildcats away. He went up 5-2 and was leading 40-love before Lighbourn won the game. Tresnan was again up 5-3 and 15-40 before Lightbourn fought him off to stay alive. Leading 5-4 and love-40, Tresnan again could not put Lightbourn away as he tied the score at 5-5. Tresnan would hold in the next game to go up 6-5. Despite all of the drama, it was a double-fault by Lightbourn on the next match point to give the Mocs the win.
"I have never been a part of anything like that before," stated head coach Carlos Garcia. "Jackson kept his composure throughout the match and pulled out the win."
Chattanooga 4, Davidson 3
1. Roberto Vieira/Chris Smith (UTC) vs. Joe Schafer/Calum Gee (DAV) - 7-7, unfinished
2. Manuel Barroetavena/Jackson Tresnan (UTC) def. Chris Mark/Nicky Kunz (DAV) - 8-6
3. Ankit Chopra/Stephen Crofford (UTC) def. Kevin Moore/Ethan Kallick (DAV) - 8-5
1. Joe Schafer (DAV) def. Roberto Vieira (UTC) - 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
2. Manuel Barroetavena (UTC) def. Chris Mark (DAV) - 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
3. Nicky Kunz (DAV) def. Chris Smith (UTC) - 6-0, 6-3
4. Calum Gee (DAV) def. Ankit Chopra (UTC) - 6-2, 6-4
5. Jackson Tresnan (UTC) def. Robert Lightbourn (DAV) - 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
6. Pavels Grigorjevs (UTC) def. Connor Evins (DAV) - 6-1, 6-1