April 13, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The 33rd-ranked men's tennis team won two of its three matches on Sunday, dropping a 4-2 decision to No. 21 Tennessee before beating Nicholls State twice, 4-0. The Crimson Tide enters the postseason with a 14-14 overall record and finishes the Southeastern Conference regular season with a 4-8 mark.
Prior to its first match of the day, Alabama recognized Daniil Proskura and Brian Conlon, as it was the last match of each one's career in Tuscaloosa.
"Daniil and Brian have meant so much to this program," said Alabama head coach George Husack. "They've made invaluable contributions that have set the standard for seasons to come."
In match one of the day, Tennessee (17-9, 6-6 SEC) would take a 1-0 lead following doubles with wins on courts two and three, however Alabama would get a big win at the top spot as 22nd-ranked Becker O'Shaughnessey and Proskura beat No. 1 Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese, 8-6. The win snapped the Vol duo's 10-match winning streak overall and a 20-match winning streak in SEC play that dated back to the 2012 season. The Tide had a chance to take the doubles point as the matchup on court two was even at 5-5, but Tennessee's Jarryd Chaplin and Andrew Dromsky would win the final three games for the 8-5 victory.
"That was an incredible win for Daniil and Becker," said Husack. "They beat the No. 2 team in the nation last week, and now to beat No. 1 says a lot about the level they are playing at. They complement each other very well, and it was exciting to see them get that win today."
In singles, the Vols won a pair of straight-set victories on courts three and six to take a 3-0 lead. The final point for Tennessee would not come easy though as the remaining four matches were all in heated battles. No. 98 O'Shaughnessey got the Tide on the board with a 6-4, 7-6(6) win on court two over 37th-ranked Libietis, which was followed by a 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 win from court four by Stuart Kenyon. Tennessee would end up clinching the win on court five as Dromsky was able to outlast Andrew Goodwin, 7-6(7), 6-4.
Alabama would then have a quick turnaround before playing a pair of matches against Nicholls State (11-12) under the lights. Because of having to get two matches in late, singles was played first instead of the usual doubles-first format. In round one against the Colonels, the Tide got wins from Hayes Brewer, Proskura, O'Shaughnessey and then Nikko Madregallejo to clinch the victory.
Approximately 45 minutes after, Alabama and Nicholls State would take the courts for the second matchup of the day, which the Tide would begin with a 1-0 lead as the Colonels forfeited at No. 6. O'Shaughnessey recorded his third singles win of the day to give Alabama its second point of the match, beating Lukas Clemens, 6-3, 6-1, on court two. From there, Brewer awarded the Tide its third point, beating Max Sinn, 6-2, 6-2, on court five. Proskura then delivered the clinching victory, beating Nico Mertens, 7-5, 6-1.
Next up, the Tide heads to Nashville, Tenn., for the 2014 SEC Tournament as the 10 seed and will take on seventh-seeded South Carolina in its first match on Thursday, April 17, at the Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center.
"This was certainly a long day, and we battled through a lot of adversity," added Husack. "Playing three matches in one day is no easy feat, however this helps prepare us for what is ahead at the SEC Tournament."
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