The Bears have been playing some good tennis lately, and their record shows it. Heading into their weekend matchup against powerhouse Wake Forest, the orange and black were 3-4 throughout the 2012 season. However, they are 2-1 in their last three matches.
Jacksonville St. 2, Mercer 5
The Bears got on the board early, taking all three doubles matches to earn the elusive doubles point. The teams of Victor Dias/Peter Tauchner, Pierre Tafelski/Dave Barton and Vincent DeLise/Joao Pagan all had hard fought matches, yet came out victorious in the end, 8-7 (7-5), 9-7, and 8-6, respectively, at one, two and three doubles. Tafelski would easily win at number one singles 6-0, 6-1, to give the Bears a 2-0 lead. Mercer would then win numbers four through six singles to secure the match, with Pagan, DeLise and Dias all winning their contests.
Florida A&M 5, Mercer 2
Mercer would not be able to capitalize on their success and would fall to the FAMU Rattlers the following Sunday 2-5. The doubles point would go to the Rattlers 1-2, with the only victory coming at the hands of Delise/Pagan at number three doubles. DeLise and Dias would again win at number five and six singles, 6-3, 7-5 and 6-3, 6-2, respectively. Tafelski would lose a close three-set match at number one single 7-5, 2-6, 2-6. The rest of the Bears’ singles would lose in straight sets.
Fort Valley St. 0, Mercer 7
The Bears would rebound against Fort Valley State, taking all nine matches, for a final score of 7-0. The number one doubles team of Tafelski/Tauchner easily won 8-2, while number two doubles (Barton/Disa) blanked their opponets 8-0. Mercer would also win at number three doubles, as Pagan/DeLise won their match 8-3. At singles, the Bears would only give up a total of six games combined to the Wildcats. Tafelski would “double bagel” his opponent at number one singles (6-0, 6-0), as did Barton and DeLise at number four and five singles, respectively. Mercer would take the final three matches in straight sets as well, with Tauchner winning 6-2, 6-1 at number two, Pagan winning 6-1, 6-2 at number three and Dias winning 6-0, 6-1.
Mercer 1, Wake Forest 6
On a road trip to play the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest, the Bears would put up a fight. The doubles point would easily go to WF, with number two and three doubles (Pagan/DeLise and Tauchner/Elbert Beekman) losing 2-8, 3-8, respectively. But the number one doubles team was out to send a message. Barton/Dias would lose a heartbreaking tiebreaker, 7-8 (7-9). At singles, the lineup was missing their usual number one player in Pierre Tafelski, but that didn’t bother Tauchner, who won at number one 6-2, 3-6, 10-7. He would be the lone Bear to win, as Pagan would fall 2-6 at number two, as would Barton at number three. Freshman sensation Vincent DeLise would lose a hard fought match 4-6, 6-2, 2-10 at number four, while Dias lost a close one 4-6, 5-7, at number six singles. Beekman lost 3-6, 0-6 at number six.
The Bears start conference on the road at FGCU on March 15. Mercer will host Belmont University on Mar. 23 for their first home conference match.