SIUE Men's Tennis Falls in OVC Opener
MURRAY, Ky. - The SIUE men's tennis team opened its first season in the Ohio Valley Conference on the road and dropped a pair of matches to Austin Peay 7-0 and Murray State 4-3 over the weekend.
The Cougars (2-8, 0-2 OVC) opened the conference season with a 7-0 loss at Austin Peay (6-5, 2-0 OVC) Saturday night.
"We ran into a very good team against Austin Peay," said SIUE Head Coach Jason Coomer. "We did not quite play our best, but a lot of that had to do with the level of play they maintained."
"Marten and Jacob continued their strong doubles play beating a sound team from Austin Peay," added Coomer. "They have proven that they can compete with anyone at No. 1 doubles."
SIUE had a chance to pull out a victory Sunday at Murray State (3-5, 1-1 OVC) but its bid came up short in a 4-3 loss.
"This was a tough one to lose as it could have gone either way," said Coomer. "When we put ourselves in a position to close out matches, we have to do that."
Jonsson and Tanulanond again picked up a doubles win over the Racers' Arthur Valle and Daniel Heibel at 8-6 to even the score before Murray State claimed the critical doubles point winning at No. 2 doubles.
After the Racers went up 2-0, the Cougars' Nicolas Vincent defeated Heibel 6-4, 6-1 at the No. 3 position to give SIUE its first point of the weekend.
"Nicolas played his best match since arriving at SIUE," added Coomer. "He played at a level I have not seen before, and one I know he can continue on with."
Murray State then clinched the match by winning at No. 1 and 5 singles.
SIUE's Morten Christensen picked up a three-set win at No. 2 singles 4-6, 7-6 (11-9), 6-3 over MSU's Jose Berardo.
"Morten showed his experience and determination fighting for the victory," added Coomer. "His conditioning was the difference in the match as he got stronger as the third set went along. That's a testament to the program our strength coach Meade Smith puts the players through."
Stephen Washuta triumphed 6-2, 6-4 over Aleks Mitric at No. 6 singles to make the final score 4-3.
"Stephen did not play like a freshman," said Coomer. "He played like a seasoned veteran in all aspects of his game."
The Cougars return home for a pair of OVC matches against Tennessee State and Jacksonville State March 24 and 25, respectively.