The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's tennis team posted a tight 4-3 win over Belmont at the Hixson Racquet Club today. The Mocs won the doubles point and three singles matches in the down-to-the-wire affair. Chattanooga improves to 2-1 on the year, while the Bruins drop to 0-2.
The Mocs opened with two doubles wins to take the first point and a 1-0 lead. Seniors Chris Smith (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Roberto Vieira (Bedfordview, South Africa) moved to 2-0 as a tandem with their 8-3 win over Renato Antun and Navarro Veys at No. 1. Seniors Manuel Barroetavena (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Jackson Tresnan (Apopka, Fla.) clinched the point with an 8-3 win over Fernando Mussolini and Henrique Norbiato at No. 2. The final doubles match was not finished.
The Mocs jumped out to a 3-0 lead with quick singles wins at No. 5 and No. 6. Tresnan did not lose a game in his (6-0, 6-0) win over Hans Nardelli at No. 6. Freshman Luke Saunders (Hallifax, Nova Scotia) followed that up with a (6-3, 6-3) win over Bruno Silva at No. 5. Tresnan improved to 2-0 in singles this spring, while Saunders is a perfect 3-0 after joining the Mocs at the semester break.
Belmont stormed back in the next three matches to tie the team score a 3-3. Antum defeated Smith (6-3, 6-4) at No. 2, followed by Norbiato's (6-2, 6-3) win over Vieira at No. 1. Veys tied the match with a (7-5, 6-3) win over Mocs sophomore Pavels Grigorjevs (Riga, Latvia).
"It was a tale of two matches today," stated UTC head coach Carlos Garcia. "We won a quick doubles point and then went up 3-0 with two singles wins. We lost the first set in the next four matches and did a great job of winning back the momentum."
That left the deciding point up to the No. 3 bout between Barroetavena and Mussolini. Barroetavena defeated Mussolini in three sets at the 2011 UTC Steve Baras Fall Classic, but that same outcome did not look like it was going to happen early on.
"If we didn't have as many seniors on our team, I don't think we could have stopped that comeback," stated Garcia. "It is that type of leadership we are going to need to show when we get into those tough Southern Conference Championships."
Mussolini went up a set with a 6-4 win in the first and was up 3-0 in the second set. Barroetavena stormed back with six straight games to win 6-3 and force a third set. The final frame went back-and-forth before Barroetavena broke Mussolini for the 6-4 win and the deciding team point.
The Mocs are back in action next Saturday when they host Jacksonville State. Match time is set for 1:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) at the Hixson Racquet Club. A link for live scoring will be available on the men's tennis schedule page on GoMocs.com.
Chattanooga 4, Belmont 3
1. Chris Smith/Roberto Vieira (UTC) def. Renato Antun/Navarro Veys (BEL) - 8-3
2. Manuel Barroetavena/Jackson Tresnan (UTC) def. Fernando Mussolini/Henrique Norbiato (BEL) - 8-3
3. Stephen Crofford/John Peacey (UTC) vs. Bruno Silva/Henrik Claesson (BEL) - 4-7, unfinished
1. Henrique Norbiato (BEL) def. Roberto Vieira (UTC) - 6-2, 6-3
2. Renato Antun (BEL) def. Chris Smith (UTC) - 6-3, 6-4
3. Manuel Barroetavena (UTC) def. Fernando Mussolini (BEL) - 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. Navarro Veys (BEL) def. Pavels Grigorjevs (UTC) - 7-5, 6-3
5. Luke Saunders (UTC) def. Bruno Silva (BEL) - 6-3, 6-3
6. Jackson Tresnan (UTC) def. Hans Nardelli (BEL) - 6-0, 6-0