By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The stage is set. The Tennessee Tech tennis team will be playing for an Ohio Valley Conference championship Saturday afternoon.
Tech took care of business in the club's second to last regular season match of the year, staying undefeated in conference action with a 7-0 win over Tennessee State Friday afternoon to move within a victory of the program's sixth regular season title in the last seven years. Coupled with a Belmont win over Jacksonville State on Friday, the Golden Eagles and Bruins will square off in Saturday's regular-season finale in Nashville with both clubs sitting at a perfect 5-0 in OVC play.
First serve is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. CT. The winner takes the crown, and in the process, the No. 1 seed in next week's OVC Tournament.
TTU (8-10, 5-0 OVC) left nothing to chance in its penultimate regular season affair, capturing each and every singles set en route to Tech's sixth-consecutive win. The Golden Eagles have won 28 regular season OVC matches in a row and are a victory away from the program's third-straight undefeated conference campaign.
No. 62 Eduardo Mena headlined the onslaught over the Tigers (10-11, 0-4) with his ninth-consecutive singles nod, a 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Shashank Nautiyal in the tilt's top matchup.
Freshman Riku Kubota also remained hot thanks to his sixth-straight singles win, a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Kato Richardson in the No. 6 slot.
Wenceslao Albin took down Stefan Koruga, 6-1, 6-4, out of the No. 2 position. Marc Mila glided past Larry Sloan, 6-4, 6-2, out of the No. 3 spot. Jorge Alfonzo edged Pavle Popovic, 7-5, 6-4, in the No. 4 matchup and Gonzalo Garcia collected a 6-2, 6-1 win against Tanishq Mahendru in the No. 5 battle.
The Golden Eagles raced out to a quick lead in the match, seizing the doubles point behind wins in the No. 2 and No. 3 slots. The combination of Wenceslao Albin and Riku Kubota notched a 6-1 victory over Tanishq Mahendru and Shashank Nautiyal in the No. 2 spot, while Gonzalo Garcia and Eduardo Mena also carded a 6-1 nod over Kato Richardson and Larry Sloan in the No. 3 position.
Garcia's win pushed the 6-foot-3 freshman to a club-best 9-5 in doubles play this spring.
Tech and Belmont will clash for the OVC regular season championship Saturday in Nashville. First serve is slated for 12:30 CT.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information