by Jules Gonsoulin
In their first matches on the renovated playing surface, both the men’s and women’s tennis teams fell to the Belhaven University Blazers to open their seasons. The teams played before a sizable crowd, taking full advantage of the nearly completed facilities.
Diego Marti-Vertiz and Alejandro Centurion opened doubles play with a convincing victory against Belhaven’s Harry Amor and Gabriel Ivanoviri. The duo utilized stellar defense and technically sound play to win 8-4.
In singles matches, Emerson Brundick and Josh Shearin were the only Majors to earn victories. Brundick defeated Gabriel Da Costa and Shearin defeated Marcus Creese, both in two sets. Centurion lost a dramatic three-set match to Thomas Ojeda.
Head Coach and interim Co-Athletic Director Jason Box felt that his team got valuable match experience, regardless of the result. “We needed match play so this was really good for us,” he said. “Everybody got a quality match whether they won or loss so that was important for us.”
A few dramatic matches highlighted the women’s contest, particularly Audrey Bennett’s victory in a 10-point tiebreaker after going one-for-one in the first two sets. Bennett was not the only freshman who had an impressive outing, though. Tori Barbier dominated her opponent, winning both sets 6-1. Ashley Ford also won her match in two sets.
Coach Box was happy to see the freshman players stepping up and getting wins for the team, “It was exciting to see some of our freshmen get their first team wins in Audrey and Jordyn and Tori.”
While the teams did not open their seasons with victories, they got some much needed competition experience. The men and women will look to bounce back next weekend against the University of Texas at Tyler, at the Millsaps tennis complex.