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Conference trip to Tennessee and Kentucky ahead for the Eagles

Junior Jordi Vives celebrates a match win during the Eagles' win against Mercer. Photo by Kelli Krebs.

Junior Jordi Vives celebrates a match win during the Eagles’ win against Mercer. Photo by Kelli Krebs.

The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s tennis team had a successful weekend of conference play with two wins. They defeated Kennesaw State University on Friday and Mercer on Saturday.

The Eagles started the weekend with a 5-2 win over Kennesaw State University. The match began with doubles play. Senior Dean Tsamas and junior Jordi Vives defeated Kennesaw’s Jorge Wilton and Maksim Yorsh 8-5. Despite the win by Tsamas and Vives, the other two doubles teams lost to their competitors.

Kennesaw’s Jake Bouchillon and David Durham beat the doubles team of redshirt- freshman Chris Perrigan and sophomore Lucas Vaz. Junior Tianyu Bao and senior Lance Lvovsky came close in their match but lost to Kennesaw’s Simon Pritchard and Louis Theodor 8-6.

“We know how important the doubles point is but we knew it was just one point for the overall match,” Vaz said. “We started singles matches with a lot of energy. We got five of the six singles matches, so that helped with our confidence and hope that we could win the match.”

Bao started singles with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Kennesaw’s Jorge Wilton. Lucas Vaz and Lance Lvovsky kept the momentum going by defeating their Kennesaw competitors in two sets. Tsamas came close in his match but lost 6-4, 6-3 to Kennesaw’s Yorsh. Jordi Vives finished singles play with a 7-6, 7-5 win over Kennesaw’s Pritchard.

With a victory on Friday, the Eagles headed into their match against Mercer with confidence. Due to the weather, the Eagles had to play their match earlier and start with singles play rather than doubles.

“In my collegiate career, it is only the second time we played singles first,” Lvovksy said. “It definitely takes a lot of adjusting and a different mental approach. We adjusted our warm-up routine to get better preparation for playing singles first.”

Despite the change in schedule, the Eagles beat Mercer 5-1. Bao started the match with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Mercer’s Arnav Mohanty.

“I was just trying to stay focused right away for my match,” Bao said. “I tried bringing extra energy to jump on my opponent early and keep at it.”

Vaz and Lvovsky followed Bao by defeating their Mercer competitors. Lvovskyhadaclosefirstsetof7-5butcame back and won the second set 6-3. Tsamas defeated Mercer’s Joao Pagan in two sets of 6-1, 6-4.

Mercer’s Arsav Mohanty defeated senior Gabriel Echeverry 6-4, 6-4. Vives finished out the singles matches with a victory over Mercer’s Oliver Snaider. He won the first set 6-1, lost the second set 6-7, but came back and won the final set 6-4.

The Eagles entered doubles play knowing they had won the match. They were not able to finish their doubles matches due to the rain but still had the victory.

“We knew we could finish the match just by singles and we did that,” Vaz said. “It was really windy and really hard to play but when you are used to playing in these conditions and the whole team plays really hard, we knew we could win 5-1.”

The team is 8-9 (3-2 A-Sun) for the season and is preparing for two away matches this weekend. They face Northern Kentucky University on Friday and then travel to play Lipscomb on Saturday.

“We beat NKU and Lipscomb last year at home, but we know that since we are playing them on the road at their place, we have a target on our backs and they are going to be gunning for us,” Lvovsky said. “The key is to stay as focused and disciplined as we can for the entire week of practice and carry the momentum from the past weekend into the upcoming weekend as we approach the end of our regular season.”

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