Men's Tennis Beats Eastern Kentucky and Winthrop
Feb. 28, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 28 ranked men’s tennis team (6-5) won both matches of a doubleheader on Sunday at the University of Alabama Tennis Stadium. The Crimson Tide defeated Eastern Kentucky (7-5) by a score of 7-0 in the morning before returning to action to take down Winthrop (1-5) by a score of 6-1 in the afternoon.
“It’s always good when you can get two wins in one day,” head coach Billy Pate said. “We faced two solid opponents today. I am overall very pleased with the way we played, especially coming off the emotional win Friday. It was good to see every player win at least one match today. Now we need to focus on having a good week of practice to prepare for a tough opening week in the SEC against Georgia and Tennessee.”
In the morning match versus Eastern Kentucky, Alabama got off to a hot start by taking all three doubles matches. The Tide managed to drop only eight games in the three matches, setting the tone for a decisive victory. Senior Saketh Myneni and sophomore Michael Davis were the first to complete their doubles match, taking down sophomores Hugo Klientovsky and Niklas Schroeder 8-2 on court one.
Sophomores Ricky Doverspike and Creighton Blanchard clinched the doubles point with their 8-3 victory at the No. 3 position over fellow sophomore tandem Carlos Valdenebro and Parul Verma. The doubles sweep was then completed by senior Houssam Yassine and junior Trey Walston, as they defeated sophomores Carles Pons and Philip Janz 8-3 on court two.
Doverspike put Alabama ahead 2-0 with this 6-4, 6-1 victory on court one in singles action. He earned an early break in each set over Klientovsky while managing to never drop his serve in the match. Yassine finished off Valdenebro shortly after by a score of 6-2, 6-0, winning the first five games of the match and never letting his opponent sink his teeth into the match at the No. 3 spot. Freshman Jarryd Botha clinched the match for the Tide, getting by Schroeder 6-3, 6-3 on court two. Botha faltered slightly when he dropped serve at 5-2 in the second set, but immediately broke back for the victory. The easy results continued to roll in for Alabama when Thompson defeated Janz 6-3, 6-3 on court four.
The final two matches featured Tide freshmen battling in tight three-set matches. On court six, Dothan, Ala., native Harris Barnard was taking on the Colonels’ Verma. The first set saw several momentum shifts, with Verma eventually taking it 7-5. The score line took a bizarre turn from there, as Barnard won the second set 6-0. The strange occurrences continued as the third set opened with five consecutive breaks. Barnard was finally able to consolidate his break and break once more in the final game of the match to win 5-7, 6-0, 6-3. On court five, Ian Chadwell lost the first set in disappointing fashion, holding serve the entire set but falling to Janz in a tiebreak. Chadwell recorded a break at 4-4 in the second to take it 6-4. The final set was decided in a super tiebreak since the match was already decided, and Chadwell kept the momentum from the second set to take it 10 points to five.
In the afternoon match, Alabama once again swept through doubles play. Myneni and Davis got things started with an 8-5 win over Winthrop’s junior Sergey Belov and senior Daniel Daudt on court one. Myneni and Davis recorded the only break of the match at 5-4. Next, Botha and Blanchard took down junior Dejon Bivens and freshman Liran Levy at the No. 3 position 8-6 to clinch the doubles point. On court two, Yassine and Walston got a pivotal break at 4-3 to run away from sophomore duo Nadav Ruppin and Guy Kubi 8-4. Botha picked up the first singles win, easily defeating Ruppin 6-2, 6-0 at the No. 3 spot. Myneni, ranked No. 61 nationally in singles, was next to finish, taking down Belov 6-1, 6-3 on court one. Davis then clinched the match with his straight sets victory over Kubi. Davis took the opening set easily 6-2, but fell behind early in the second. He was able to battle back from being down a break to take the second set 6-4.
Doverspike was next to get off the court, fighting his way to a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Eagles’ senior Diego Toledo at the No. 2 position. Doverspike faced little resistance in the first set, but was forced to dig in late in the second set and break Toledo to avoid going into a tiebreak. Levy got Winthrop on the board when he defeated Chadwell 6-3, 6-1 on court six. Chadwell was constantly battling from behind, eventually wearing down in the second set.
The final match of the day featured the most dramatic set of the day. Thompson breezed through the first set against Bivens at the No. 4 spot, taking it 6-1. Bivens staked a 4-1 lead in the second, and served for the set once, but could not put Thompson away. The set would be decided in a tiebreak, which went to Thompson seven points to three.
Next up, Alabama remains at home to open up SEC action against No. 9 Georgia and No. 2 Tennessee. The Tide hosts the Bulldogs on March 5 at 2:00 p.m. (CST) and the Volunteers on March 7 at 1:00 p.m. (CST).
RESULTS VS. EASTERN KENTUCKY
RESULTS VS. WINTHROP