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Tech’s season comes to a close with 4-0 loss to Belmont in Horizon League semifinal

Tech’s season comes to a close with 4-0 loss to Belmont in Horizon League semifinal

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Tennessee Tech tennis team's postseason quest at a title fell short Saturday afternoon, as the Golden Eagles saw their season ended by Belmont with a 4-0 defeat in the semifinals of the 2024 Horizon League Men's Tennis Championship.

After securing a 5-1 victory over Northern Kentucky in the quarterfinals for Tech's eighth-straight season with at least one postseason win as well as the club's ninth-consecutive year appearing in a conference tournament semifinal, the Golden Eagles (4-13) were unable to make the championship match of a league playoff tourney for the first time since 2015, snapping a string of seven-straight appearances in a final.

The South Division No. 1 seed Bruins (11-9) picked up a hard-fought doubles point for an early lead in the match after seizing two of the three tandem tangles. Tech did claim a win in No. 1 behind a Davids Spaks and Lucas Bitzer 6-2 victory over Niklas von Hellens and Ruben Busch, but were upended in the other two tussles to drop the duo point.

Alfred Wallin and Ian Cruz carded a 6-1 win against Murilo Burckhardt and Paulo Ramos Martin in the No. 2 meeting before Tomas Luis and Gabriel Sardo put the finishing touches on doubles play with a narrow 7-6 (7-5) triumph over Alex Alvarez and Darek Kuczynski in the No. 3 position.

Belmont carried that success over to singles play with victories in all three completed solo battles. Tomas Luis notched a 6-4, 6-0 nod against Murilo Burckhardt in the No. 2 slot, while Ian Curz collected a 6-0, 6-0 decision over Davids Spaks in the No. 3 clash and Gabriel Sardo topped Darek Kuczynski 6-2, 6-2 in the No. 6 showdown.

Niklas von Hellens took the first set 7-5 over Paulo Ramos Martin in the No. 4 spot at the time it was called for one of three singles matchups that did not finish. Alfred Wallin edged Alex Alvarez 7-6 (7-5) in the first set in the No. 1 get-together before Alvarez led 1-0 in the second at the time of its conclusion, while Ruben Busch picked up a 6-2 triumph over Lucas Bitzer in the No. 5 spot before the second set was knotted 4-4 at the time it was called.

The Bruins will meet North Division top seed Cleveland State in Sunday's championship match after the Vikings knocked off South Division No. 2 seed Tennessee State 4-3 in the other semifinal battle.  

Photo by Jim Dillon

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