Tennis competes in ITA

Photo by David Van / Sophomore Eduardo Segura gets prepared to volley back an opponents, return. Segura had a tough time at the ITA Kickoff losing three of his matches, including two three set singles matches.

The men’s and women’s tennis teams competed in the ITA Kickoff Weekend event, with the men traveling to the campus of USC and the women making the trip to Charlottesville, Va. The men lost their two matches against Fresno State and San Diego State, while the No. 22 ranked women split their matches, besting No. 23 Tennessee after falling to No. 18 Notre Dame. After the event, the men’s record stood at 2-2 while the women are 2-1.

The men began the weekend with a 4-3 loss to Fresno State. Tech took an early 1-0 lead by taking the doubles point, but only won two of the remaining six points up for grabs and suffered a loss. Tech pair Nathan Rakitt and Colin Edwards won their doubles match by a score of 8-3. Tech’s main pairing of Juan Spir and Vikram Hundal followed that with an 8-5 win to clinch the point for the Jackets. Spir and Hundal improved to 14-1 overall, and were an undefeated 6-0 this spring. The Jackets took a 3-0 lead in the match after Hundal and Rakitt each won their singles bouts in two sets. However, the Bulldogs took the next four singles matches, all in three sets, to complete the comeback, 4-3.

The team could not recover from that upset loss as they were shut out the next day by San Diego State, 4-0. The only highlight came from Spir and Hundal, who once again won their doubles match to remain undefeated this spring. However, Tech lost the doubles point for the first time this season after Garrett Gordon and Eduardo Segura lost their match in a tiebreaker. None of these players could make any headroom in their singles matches as the Aztecs took three quick points to clinch the match, 4-0.

The women kicked off the event with a hard-fought 4-3 loss to No. 18 Notre Dame. The Jackets took the doubles point despite a loss by their number one pairing, and had a 3-1 lead in the match at one point after singles victories by Elizabeth Kilborn and Natasha Prokhnevska. However, three straight victories clinched the match for Notre Dame and gave the Jackets their first loss of the season.

The women bounced back into action with a 4-2 victory over No. 23 Tennessee the following day. The pair of Prokhnevska and Murial Wacker won their doubles match, followed by Megan Kurey and Kendal Woodward to clinch the doubles point. The Lady Volunteers came back to take a 2-1 lead with two straight singles wins, but those would be their last victories of the match. The Jackets won the remaining three singles bouts to win the match and improve to 2-1 on the season.

The men will be back in action at the other USC when they take on the Gamecocks on Saturday. The women will play at home that day when they host No. 25 Vanderbilt at the new Ken Byers Tennis Complex.