Men’s tennis kicks off fall season

Over the weekend the men’s tennis team traveled to Athens to compete in the Southern Intercollegiate Championships. This was the first tournament of the fall season, and the first chance for three freshmen to compete at the collegiate level.

The team started out strong on Friday going 5-3 in Singles and 3-1 in Doubles. Senior Juan Spir, ranked 10th nationally, senior Juan Melian, and sophomore Eduardo Segura all competed in the Division I bracket and each won their first round match.  In the Division II bracket, Freshman Nathan Rakitt picked up his first collegiate win, and sophomore Vikram Hundal also won his first round match.  Sophomore Colin Edwards, freshman Anish Sharma, and sophomore Garrett Gordon competed in the Division II bracket as well, but all fell short in their opening matches. Gordon and Sharma each won a match in the consolation bracket.

In doubles, the top seeded pair of Spir and Segura won by default in the opening round of the Divison I bracket.  In the Division II bracket of doubles, Gordon and Hundal paired up for a victory, as did Rakitt and Melian. Edwards and Sharma were defeated in the first round of doubles.

On Saturday, Spir picked two singles wins by beating UGA’s Austin Smith 6-4, 7-6 and Vanderbilt’s Kris Yee 6-3, 6-2. Segura also won his second round match defeating Pablor Gor of Armstrong Atlantic in a very close match 1-6, 7-6, 7-6, but then fell short losing to Jonas Lutjun of Ole Miss. Melian lost a close match in the second round to UGA’s Hernus Pieters 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

In the Division II singles bracket Rakitt won his second round match 6-3, 7-6 against Kyle Hoffman of Georgia Southern, but then lost to Virgina Tech’s Hunter Koontz. Koontz went on to win the tournament. Hundal won his second round match against Matt Brown of Furman 7-6, 6-3 before losing to Armstrong Atlantic’s Jaan Konovov 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Spir was Tech’s only singles player left on Sunday, and lost a tough quarterfinal match to UGA’s Hernus Pieters 7-6, 6-4. Spir and his doubles partner, Segura, also lost an extremely close doubles match 9-8 to UGA’s pair of Nathan Pasha and Ben Wagland. In the Divison II doubles bracket, Rakitt and Melian lost their doubles match 8-6. Hundal and Gordon won their first doubles match of the day before losing 8-5 to Rafael Berghaus and Grayson Mills of Presbyterian in their second match of the day.

The tennis team will have a few weeks off from tournaments before traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma on Spetmber 29th to compete in the ITA All-American Championships.