Tech’s tennis team began conference play last weekend with wins over Eastern Kentucky University’s Colonels and Morehead State University’s Eagles.
EKU had won 25 consecutive conference matches before going up against Tech Friday. They also won the past three OVC regular seasons in 2009, 2010 and 2011, with conference tournament championship wins in 2010 and 2011.
Tech defeated the Colonels 4-3 last Saturday. Senior Justin Kirstein, freshman Alejandro Augusto Bueno and sophomore Vasily Eremeev all won their singles matches. In doubles play, the pairs of Vasily Eremeev and Artem Tarasov, and Justin Kirstein and Alejandro Augusto Bueno won their doubles match.
“The win against Eastern Kentucky was a huge,” Yianni Doropoulos, junior tennis player, said. “They’ve won the conference the past three years, and we haven’t beaten them for quite a long time.”
Tech took down Morehead State 5-2 Sunday. Junior Syrym Abdukhalikov, senior Alex Chen, Augusto Bueno and Kirstein all won their individual match. In doubles play, the pairs of Eremeev and Tarasov and Kirstein and Augusto Bueno won their doubles match.
“The win against Morehead State was solid,” Doropoulos said. “They’re always tough, but we always manage to pull out a win.”
Augusto Bueno was recognized as the OVC Tennis co-Player of the Week after his efforts against the Colonels and the Eagles. He finished with a perfect 4-0 record winning both singles and both doubles matchups. He shared the honor with Jacksonville State’s Nenad Marcec.
Tech is now 5-7 overall and 3-0 in conference play. The 7-0 win marked Tech’s fourth consecutive victory and the 11th straight win over the Racers and kept Tech’s conference record perfect for the season.
“Now that we’ve started OVC, I think everyone is a bit more focused, and mentally tough, and ready to do what it takes to win,” Doropoulos said.
Tech poured it on Murray State by prevailing in all three doubles matches, and taking all but one of the singles matches in straight sets.
The only exception was Kirstein, who dropped the first set 7-6 in a 7-3 tiebreaker. He bounced back, however, and took the second set 6-2 and the third set 10-6 to complete the clean sweep for the Golden Eagles.
Tech continues conference play this weekend against Tennessee State University’s Tigers (0-4) at 11 a.m. Saturday and against Jacksonville State Gamecocks (7-9) at 10 a.m. Sunday.