By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech tennis team opened up its season with a pair of losses to No. 6 Tennessee, as the Golden Eagles were downed 7-0 and 4-0 Saturday afternoon from the Goodfriend Tennis Center.
1st Match (UT 7 TTU 0):
Playing shorthanded with five available Golden Eagles, Tech (0-2) was forced to forfeit its third doubles affair, ultimately leading to Tennessee capturing the doubles point with a win in the No. 2 position. The UT tandem of Johannus Monday and Martim Prata knocked off Evzen Holis and Jaime Paquet with a 6-3 decision. TTU's top duo of Mika Berghaus and Elias Grubert led 5-4 over Pat Harper and Shunsuke Mitsui at the time the tussle was called.
The Volunteers (4-0) claimed all four completed singles battles behind victories in the top four slots. No. 59 Shunsuke Mistui topped Mika Berghaus with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph in the top spot, while No. 81 Emile Hudd rounded out UT's nationally ranked attack with a 6-2, 6-2 nod against Elias Grubert in the No. 2 clash.
Johannus Monday picked up a 6-2, 6-4 win over Evzen Holis in the No. 3 showdown and Martim Prata rounded out Tennessee's strong solo showing with a 6-0, 6-1 decision against freshman Jaime Paquet in the No. 4 tilt. Pol Masafret retired in his No. 5 get-together with Boris Kozlov after the Golden Eagle freshman dropped the first set 6-0 and trailed 2-0 in the second set.
Tech was forced to forfeit the No. 6 singles meeting.
2nd Match (UT 4 TTU 0):
A similar script during doubles action played out in the day's second match, with UT seizing one completed contest to wrestle home the tandem point. Mitsui and Harper took down Berghaus and Grubert in the top spot thanks to a 6-2 victory, while the No. 3 dual did not take place with only five available Golden Eagles. Monday and Blaise Bicknell led Holis and Paquet 5-2 at the time the get-together was called.
The Volunteers secured one completed singles win during solo competition, with No. 86 Blaise Bicknell registering a 6-1, 6-2 nod against Elias Grubert in the No. 2 position. The Golden Eagles forfeited the No. 6 matchup and Pol Masafret retired in the No. 5 slot after falling 6-0 in the opening set.
The other three battles went unfinished, which included Mika Berghaus leading No. 81 Emile Hudd in the second set in the No. 1 spot. Hudd claimed a 6-1 win in the opener, but the Golden Eagle junior out of Cologne, Germany led 4-3 in the second set before it was ultimately called.
Evzen Holis was locked up in a tight first set with Martim Prata in the No. 3 meeting that did not conclude with the score situated at 6-6. Jaime Paquet fell 6-3 in the initial set to Angel Diaz in the No. 4 clash and trailed 3-2 in the second set before it went unfinished.
With its first competition of the spring now in the rearview mirror, the Golden Eagles will set their sights on another nationally ranked battle on Monday, Jan. 16. Tech will travel to No. 14 Wake Forest for a 10 a.m. CT beginning in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Photo by Thomas Corhern