By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Five Golden Eagles will flock east for the weekend, ready to represent the Tennessee Tech tennis team among the region's best talent. For the third-straight year, the University of Tennessee will host the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships, a five-day event at the Goodfriend Tennis Center and Knoxville Racquet Club.
The tournament runs Thursday through Monday with first-round doubles starting at 7 a.m. CT Thursday. Admission is free to all sessions. All start times listed in the release are central time.
Wenceslao Albin, Jorge Alfonzo, Gonzalo Garcia, Arthur Justo and Eduardo Mena will all participate in singles action, while the tandem of Garcia and Mena and the duo of Albin and Justo will also take aim in doubles play.
Mena and Garcia open up with a doubles matchup against Xavier's Brent Winters and Alejandro Rodriquez-Vidal Thursday at 7:30 a.m. CT from the Knoxville Racquet Club. The prevailing tandem will connect with the winner of Purdue's Stephan Koenigsfest and Masksymilian Raupuk and Memphis' Jan Pallares and Felix Rauch in Friday's second round.
The other Golden Eagle duo of Wenceslao Albin and Arthur Justo will see Indiana's Antonio Cembellin and Alfonso Salgado, also beginning Thursday at 7:30 a.m. from the Knoxville Racquet Club. Should Albin and Justo come out on top, the Tech tandem will face off with the winner of Lipscomb's Daniel Cardenas and Jorge Ortegon and Kentucky's Austin Hussey and Ryotaro Matsumura in Friday morning's second round.
As far as singles play is concerned, Jorge Alfonzo will be the first Golden Eagle in action, locking up with Memphis' Kai Lemke, the region's 14th-ranked player, for a first round battle at UT's Goodfriend Tennis Center. The match is slated to begin Thursday at 9 a.m. The winner will see the victor of Wright State's Marcel Ueltzhoeffer and Vanderbilt's Panu Virtanen in Friday's second round.
Wenceslao Albin will be at the Knoxville Raquet Club Thursday at 10 a.m. for his first round affair, hooking up with Eastern Kentucky's Roman Van Flymen, the region's 17th-ranked player. The winner will see more OVC flavor, taking on either Belmont's Jake Briggs or Austin Peay's Timo Kiesslich in Friday morning's second round.
Arthur Justo will lock up with Kentucky's Ryotaro Matsumura, the region's fifth-ranked player. The match is slated to begin at 1 p.m. from inside the Goodfriend Tennis Center. The victor will square off with the winner of Tennessee's Luca Widenmann and Lipscomb's Victor Chaw in the second round.
Eduardo Mena, the No. 4 ranked player in the region will see another member of the OVC in Belmont's Vincent Sterkens for a 1:30 p.m. Thursday battle from inside the Knoxville Racquet Club. Should Mena advance, his second round opponent will be the winner of Northern Kentucky's Blaine Carr and Dayton's Zach Berry.
Gonzalo Garcia will conclude TTU's final first round matches, squaring off with Ball State's Thibault de Negri Thursday at 2 p.m. from inside the Goodfriend Tennis Center. Should Garcia come out on top, the 6-foot-3 freshman will see the winner of EKU's Nic Castaldo and Purdue's Stephan Koenigsfest in Friday morning's second round.
Photo by Tony Marable