PENSACOLA, Fla. - The West Florida men's tennis team (2-4, 1-1 GSC), ranked No. 9 in Division II, fell to Division I Tennessee Tech (2-4) 4-3 at home on Thursday at the Ralph “Skeeter” Carson Complex. After losing the doubles point, the Golden Eagles came back to win four out of six singles matches.
The match was played under Division I rules, a seven point format in which the team that reaches four points is declared the winner. In these rules, only one point is earned by the three doubles matches, instead of the three points from the Division II rules.
In doubles, the Argonauts pulled off two wins of three matches to earn a point. In the second spot, Argonauts Patrick Bateman (sophomore/Apopka, Fla.) and Luis Arboleda (senior/Medellin, Colombia) defeated Lloyd Harris and Mario Gutierrez by a 8-6 score. In the first spot, Andrey Pozhidaev (freshman/Sochi, Russia) and Nathan Rosenfeld (freshman/Miami, Fla.) fell 9-7 to Dean O’Brien and Josh Girling. The third Argonaut duo formed by Kevin Ducros (freshman/Aix-en-Provence, France) and Sean Gunnels (freshman/Mobile, Ala.) needed a tiebreak to defeat Justin Kirstein and Oscar Pachon 9-8, to give West Florida the its second win, securing the 1-0 lead.
In singles, the West Florida fell short to the Golden Eagles, as the Argonauts won only two out of six singles matches. In the fifth singles spot, Leandro Schujmann (sophomore/Porto Alegre, Brazil) made his debut as an Argonaut. The Brazilian native fell 6-3, 6-1 to Pachon. Playing in the first spot, Pozhidaev also dropped in straight sets, by falling 6-2, 6-1 to O’Brien. In the second spot, Bateman fell to Chen with a 6-2, 6-2 score, giving the Golden Eagles the 3-1 lead. Rosenfeld defeated Girling in the third slot, to keep the Argonauts on the scoreboard. Mike Lue (freshman/Richmond Hill, Ontario) pushed the sixth player from Tennessee Tech to the third set, falling to Gutierrez 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, giving the Golden Eagles the fourth point and the victory. The Argonauts still earned one more point in the last match when when Jose Ycaza (senior/Guayaquil, Ecuador) came back from a set down to beat Kirstein 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, setting the final score of the match on 4-3 for the visitors.
West Florida will next travel to Valdosta, where it will face three opponents, including two GSC rivals. On Saturday, March 14, the Argonauts will face No. 3 Lynn (8-0) at 10:00 am and Alabama-Huntsville (6-0, 0-0 GSC) at 6:00 pm. On Sunday, March 15, the Argos will take on No. 2 Valdosta State (5-2, 1-0 GSC) at their home courts at 11:00 am. For information on all UWF Athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.