Tennis splits matches with Ouachita Baptist, CSU-Pueblo

Photo by Krista Pylant

Joel Frambes
Copy Editor
@JoelPole12

Before welcoming Spring Break to campus, the men’s tennis team hosted three other schools to the Streich-Henry Tennis Complex for a triple header on March 6-7. The Aggies brought home two wins in three.

At 9 a.m. Friday morning, Cameron started with doubles matches against the East Central University Tigers. The Aggies opened with a quick win against the Tigers in the two slot. Dennis Merdan and Joao Fazendeiro dominated their opponents to win that match 8-1.

The one slot fell short of a win after a close match with both teams breaking each other’s serves multiple times. After exchanging breaks for a score of 5-6, the Tigers grabbed the final two games of the set to level the match count. In the third slot, the Aggies never gained a foothold in the match, losing 2-8.

After going down 1-2 in the overall match count, the Aggies headed into singles competition. ECU applied the pressure early, winning the first two matches in the three and six slots, and moving the match count heavily in their favor to 1-4.

Cameron looked like they were going to be out with split sets in the two slot, but Fazendeiro played a hard-fought third set to pull out the win. His success helped his other teammates grab the momentum back from the ECU Tigers, leading the Aggies to win the last three matches and to claim the overall victory by one match, 5-4.

Match play resumed the morning of March 7 with the Aggies taking on the Ouachita Baptist University Tigers. Felipe Oyarzun and Mateo Velasco won their doubles match in the second slot, winning 8-2. The top slot team of Merdan and Fazendeiro fought back from every deficit and break to win a close match decided by a tiebreak. Their final score against OBU’s top team was 9-8(5). The teams headed into singles with Cameron leading the match score, 2-1.

The Aggies looked like they were going to claim an early overall win. The top three individuals played through two sets, with the second and third seeds taking the match with a third set win.

However, the top slot went to OBU after the Tigers’ player came from behind to win the whole match. This signaled a shift in momentum away from the Aggies who could not regain a foothold in the competition. As summed up by the final score of 4-5 in favor of the OBU Tigers, the Aggies’ downward spiral continued with losses in the fourth, fifth and sixth slots.

After taking a short break between competitions, Cameron resumed match play with the Timberwolves from Colorado State University at Pueblo. Despite the fatigue setting in after two previous matches in less than two days, the Aggies came out on fire in doubles. CU claimed all three matches comfortably with an 8-4 win in the top slot, an 8-4 win in the second slot, and an 8-6 win in the third slot to bring the match count to 3-0.

With exhaustion setting in, Cameron used their momentum to give the singles players a final burst of energy to see out a win for the team. Matches were shortened by the tiredness of the players: points were either won quickly or on unforced errors.

Merdan, Fazendeiro, Oyarzun, and Iustín Bacu in the one, two, four and six slots respectively all opened the match with a break of their opponents’ service games. Only the second seed could not translate his early lead into a first set win or a subsequent match win. Third slot Angelo Lencioni and fifth slot Dean Weigelt opened their matches with a hold of serve to control the outcome of the rest of their first sets.

The first, third, fifth, and sixth seeds continued their dominant performances and seemingly tireless efforts to win their matches in two straight sets to seal the victory. Merdan scored 6-2, 6-3; Lencioni scored 6-0, 6-2; Weigelt scored 6-3, 6-1; and Bacu scored 6-1, 6-1.

While scores were recorded, Oyarzun let his early break in the second set slip away. CSU started to find a rhythm to combat Oyarzun’s return of serve to level the match at 6-6 in the second set. The fourth slot recovered to easily clinch the tiebreak for a final score of 6-1, 7-6(2). Cameron sent the Timberwolves home with their tails between their legs after completing all matches for a score of 8-1.

The men’s tennis team will play its next home match against Northwest Missouri State University on March 24.

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