VSU’s men’s tennis team dropped their second consecutive match to start the season yesterday while the Lady Blazers tennis squad opened the season falling just short of a great comeback against Georgia College.
The day started out promising for the men. In the first doubles spot Konstantin Kutschenko and Mario Navarro defeated Johan Wadstein and Andreas Ainalides 8-6 while in the second spot Tammo Haake and Sebastin Jasyk downed Wictor Andersson and Yannick Hass 8-5. The Bobcats got on the board via the third doubles spot as Alex Schubert and Taylor Powell were victors over Andrew Harvin and Joachim Schemm 8-4.
The Blazers were feeling good going into singles up 2-1 and looked for that confidence to feed into the singles round. “That’s important, to win off the doubles it gets you feeling good going into singles,” Konstantin Kutschenko said.
Unfortunately the Bobcats quickly turned the tides with Ainalides winning in straight sets (7-5, 6-3) over Navarro in the second singles spot. Adding to that trend in the four spot Hass defeated Jasyk in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 and in the fifth spot Andersson closed out Haake 6-3, 6-2. Harvin dropped the sixth spot to Powell 6-0, 6-3 and the Blazers suddenly found themselves down 5-2.
Schemm won the first set 6-3 over Schubert, but dropped the next two sets 6-4, 6-0 closing out three singles.
Kutschenko was one of the lone bright spots for the men on the day breezing through the first set 6-1 over Wadstein and staying strong in a back and forth second set winning 7-5 in one singles.
The Blazers have not gotten out of the gates quickly early in the 2013 season, sitting already at 0-2. “All of us still probably need a couple of matches, but today was for sure better than our first match,” Kutschenko comments. “Everyone had a good opponent today and it was a close match. When you play against equal opponents it’s the best way to challenge us.”
On the other end of the courts it was almost the exact opposite story for the Lady Blazers. Due to tonsillitis affecting one of the girls on Tuesday night the Lady Blazers had to forfeit the third doubles spot and the sixth singles spot.
Already down 2-0 the Lady Bobcats added to their lead as Kay Barksdale and Katie Krupp downed Michelle Fischer and Alina Nagel 8-4. Desperate to salvage a point before the singles round Juliana Boehm and Laura Ubeda were unable to capitalize dropping the second doubles spot 9-7 to May Johnson and Leah Pridgeon.
Before the singles round even started the Lady Blazers were down 4-0 and the Bobcats were one point away from victory.
Storming back Fischer kicked off the comeback victorious over Ivana Marevic 6-1, 6-0 in the one spot and Nagel followed for VSU defeating Johnson in the two spot 6-2, 6-3.
Still failing to yield a set, Ubeda defeated Barksdale in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 and Boehm downed Pridgeon 6-2, 6-3.
Suddenly the match was deadlocked at 4-4 and everyone turned their eye to Krupp and Jessica Tuggle on the far court. Tuggle dropped the first set 6-2, but motivated by her teammates comeback she found herself ahead in the second set trying to force a third. Krupp put an end to the Blazers hopes winning the second set 7-6 in the fifth singles spot.
It was a disappointing end to the day but judging by the fact that they were down 4-0 early, the Lady Blazers walked away confident.
Still looking for that first victory of the season for the men or women Coach Hansen knows there is a long way to go. “As long as we learn something that’s all we care about,” Hansen said.
The Blazers will look to get back on track Saturday at Embry-Riddle.