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Golden Eagle tennis greets Furman in Friday home match, heads to No. 22 Memphis on Saturday

Golden Eagle tennis greets Furman in Friday home match, heads to No. 22 Memphis on Saturday

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech tennis team is back in business with a pair of weekend affairs on tap for the purple and gold. Following a near two-week break from the courts, the Golden Eagles will host Furman on Friday before traveling to No. 22 Memphis for a Saturday afternoon get-together with the nationally ranked Tigers.

Both weekend tussles are slated to start at 1 p.m. CT. Admission to Friday's match at Tech Tennis Courts is free of charge.

A look at Tennessee Tech

The Golden Eagles (0-7) will have another go at a home match on Friday after the club's last two contests in Cookeville were wiped away due to inclement weather. TTU has had only one match at Tech Tennis Courts this year after a Mar. 2 tangle with Texas Tech and a Mar. 8 match against Youngstown State were both cancelled. The Golden Eagles were upended 5-2 by Presbyterian in the only clash in Cookeville on Feb. 25.

Tech enters the weekend on a 12-day hiatus that saw the Golden Eagles fall 7-0 at No. 39 Middle Tennessee in the squad's last affair on Mar. 10. The match with the Blue Raiders is one of five contests against nationally ranked opponents this season, with the purple and gold also squaring off against Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Alabama and Arkansas throughout the club's rigorous early-spring stretch.

Murilo Burckhardt, Darek Kuczynksi and Davids Spaks have each collected a singles victory this season, while Spaks, Lucas Bitzer and Paulo Ramos Martin are the Golden Eagle leaders in doubles play with two tandem wins apiece.

TTU will be looking to continue a successful trend in Friday's faceoff with Furman that has featured a purple and gold 46-5 record over their last 51 matches at Tech Tennis Courts.

A look at Furman

The Paladins (7-9, 1-1 Southern Conference) come to Cookeville having dropped five of their last six contests, which includes a 5-2 defeat at Samford in the squad's last match on Mar. 17. The loss to the Bulldogs evened the club's conference account after knocking off UNC Greensboro 6-1 in the SoCon opener on Mar. 1.

Furman's Friday affair at Tech Tennis Courts will continue a lengthy stay on the road that will mark the Paladins' seventh-straight away affair. In fact, Furman will end up going close to 50 days in between home matches after taking on Xavier on Feb. 11 and then not scheduled to return to Greenville, S.C. until Mar. 30 with a non-conference clash against Emmanuel University.

Emil Westling possesses Furman's best singles record behind an 8-4 solo mark. The senior out of Bjarred, Sweden has done a bulk of his damage in the middle of the lineup behind a 4-2 ledger out of the No. 3 position and a 3-2 record out of the No. 4 spot. Westling is also 1-0 in the top slot and is a perfect 2-0 in Southern Conference play.

Thomas Kennedy has posted the best doubles record with an 8-7 duo mark. The Atlanta, Ga. product has teamed up with Elijah Poritzky in nearly all of the tandem action, with the pair producing a 7-7 account out of the No. 1 position.

A look at No. 22 Memphis

The Tigers (11-3, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) host Tech on a three-match winning streak that has featured back-to-back victories over "Power 5" opponents. The club collected a 4-2 nod at Clemson in their last match on Mar. 16 after knocking off No. 24 Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Mar. 2.

Memphis' only three losses this year have been against No. 46 LSU on Feb. 23, Mississippi State on Feb. 7 and No. 9 Stanford on Jan. 27. The Tigers are 2-0 in AAC action thanks to a 6-1 triumph over UAB on Jan. 12 and a 4-3 victory at South Florida on Feb. 16.

Pablo Alemany, Connor Gannon and Moritz Kudernatsch lead the Tigers with seven solo victories apiece. Alemany has played exclusively in the top singles position, where the he has gone 7-4. The Valencia, Spain native has teamed up with Charlie Barry to form the team's top doubles tandem, with the pair combining to go 8-3, all out of the top slot.

The Golden Eagles will see a familiar face in Saturday's showdown at Memphis, with Eduardo Mena currently serving as the Tigers' assistant coach. Mena spent the last five seasons on the Tech coaching staff, holding the roles of volunteer assistant coach (2019), graduate assistant coach (2020), assistant coach (2021) and associate head coach (2022-23). The Bultrago del Lozoya, Spain product is also TTU's all-time winningest player with 153 combined singles and doubles victories throughout his Tech tenure.

Inside the series

Friday's matchup with Furman will mark the fourth meeting in the all-time series. The Paladins are a perfect 3-0 against the Golden Eagles, which includes a 4-3 win in last year's meeting in Greenville in a match Tech had to forfeit the No. 5 and No. 6 singles clashes due to not having enough players.

Memphis leads the purple and gold 14-3 in the all-time set. The Tigers have won eight straight in the series and Saturday's get-together will mark the first time the two in-state foes have battled since Jan. 27, 2012.

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