The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's tennis team opens the 2013 spring season at home this weekend. The Mocs host No. 63 Georgia State on Friday, Jan. 18 and Tennessee Tech on Sunday, Jan. 20 at the Hixson Racquet Club.
Match time against the Panthers is set for 6:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) while first serve against the Golden Eagles is 10:00 a.m. Links for live scoring for both matches are available on the men's tennis schedule page on GoMocs.com.
The Mocs return their top eight players from a 14-9 campaign in 2012, their best record since 2007. UTC has improved its win total in each of the last three seasons and looks to build on that momentum with a roster that includes seven seniors.
Senior Roberto Vieira (Bedfordview, South Africa) is a three-time All-Southern Conference performer and holds down the top spot. Vieira was 10-8 at No. 1 in duals last season and is 41-34 in singles in his career. He also posted a 13-9 record in doubles play.
The rest of the lineup is still to be determined after the addition of three newcomers at the semester break. Sophomore Gino Delavalle (Rosario, Argentina) and freshmen John Peavey (Emerald, Australia) and Luke Saunders (Halifax, Nova Scotia) are all expected to make in impact on the lineup in the spring.
Senior Manuel Barroetavena (Buenos Aires, Argentina) led the Mocs with a 21-8 singles record last season. He was 8-2 at No. 4 before moving up the lineup. He posted a 9-2 record at No. 2 and No. 3 during the last half of the season. That included a 9-0 run in March that earned him SoCon Player of the Month honors. He finished the fall season with a 7-5 mark, leading the team in wins.
Other returning seniors include Ankit Chopra (Chandigrah, India), Stephen Crofford (Franklin, Tenn.), William Disterdick (Hixson, Tenn.), Chris Smith (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Jackson Tresnan (Apopka, Fla.). Sophomore Pavels Grigorjevs (Riga, Latvia) rounds out the returning players.
Tresnan was 14-8 in 2012, playing mostly the No. 5 spot. He tied Vieira for the team lead in doubles wins with a 13-7 record. He was 5-0 in doubles and 3-1 in singles in February, earning SoCon Player of the Month recognition. Grigorjevs also had a winning singles record, going 13-10 at No. 5 and No. 6 combined.
This is the second straight season UTC opens with a ranked opponent at home after starting 2012 against No. 71 Radford. Former Nebraska assistant Joerg Barthel takes over at Georgia State. The Panthers are coming off a 20-5 campaign and are one of the favorites to win the Sun Belt in their first season in a new league. Senior Victor Valente is ranked No. 54 in the nation in singles while junior Thomas Cook returns after an all-conference performance in 2012. The Tech lineup includes five returning players and two newcomers who joined the roster this semester.
Headlining the TTU squad team is a pair of All-Ohio Valley players, including senior Syrym Abduhkalikov and sophomore Alejandro Augusto. Augusto was the 2012 OVC Freshman of the Year. The Golden Eagles welcome back five returners to their lineup.