Men’s, Women’s Tennis Updates: 3/1

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Both the Men’s and Women’s Tennis Teams have had mixed starts to their 2011 seasons, with Mercer’s men at 2-3 through February 19 and Mercer’s women at 2-2 through February 20. Despite the tough starts to the season, the Bears have performed well at home as of late, including a combined 14-0 sweep of Young Harris by both the men and women’s teams.

Men’s Tennis: 2-3, 0-0 Atlantic Sun

Georgia State 5, Mercer 2.

Mercer lost the four, five, and six spots in singles play in straight sets to drop the match in Atlanta against in-state rival Georgia State. Fernando Armendaris pushed his opponent to an extra set, but he also dropped his singles match. Pierre Tefelski and Peter Tauchner each won their singles match in extra sets. Mercer also dropped the doubles point.  Armendaris and Evandro Rosindo won the sole match for Mercer in the doubles two spot, but Guilherme Frias and Dave Barton pushed their opponent to the brink before losing 8-6. Mercer was down 5-0 before they picked up a point on the day, mainly because of the the strong finishes by Tauchner and Tefelski.

Mercer 7, Georgia Southwestern 0.

Straight set victories all around were the norm, as Mercer rebounded from their tough loss to a dominant win over Georgia Southwestern. Tefelski and Tauchner each went to 2-0 on the day in singles play, and Armendaris and Rosindo went to 2-0 in doubles play.  This was the home opener for the Bears, and it saw Rosindo, Frias, and Barton all rebound from difficult matchups in Atlanta.

Coastal Carolina 5, Mercer 2.

Mercer battled Coastal Carolina at home, only to see similar results as the Georgia State matchup.  Despite close matches in double play, only Frias and Barton were able to win their match, giving Coastal Carolina the doubles point.  Frias and Barton were also the only two Bears to win their singles points, in the five and six position.  All matches lost were in straight sets, but no Bear was held scoreless in any set.

Florida A&M 4, Mercer 3.

Pierre Tefelski and Guilherme Frias each went to 3-1 in singles play on the year, and Fernando Armendaris added another point for the Bears, but an extra set loss by Dave Barton (combined with straight sets losses by the two and four positions left the match to be decided by the doubles point.  Unfortunately, despite strong efforts, the Bears were letdown, being swept in that category.  Tefelski and Peter Tauchner were the closest, but it was not the Bears’ day against the Florida A&M Rattlers in Tallahassee.

Mercer 7, Young Harris 0.

Tefelski and Frias now each sit at 4-1 in singles play on the season, as Mercer brought the heat at home versus Young Harris.  The shutout victory saw Elbert Beekman in his debut for Mercer tennis.  Beekman won his singles matchup 6-0, 6-0.  Mercer also swept the doubles point, not leaving anything to chance.

The Bears are starting to find rhythm this season, challenging tough opponents in non-conference play.  With the emergence of Beekman as a reliable alternative, the Bears also have depth on their bench.  They have non-conference matchups with Jacksonville State and Georgia Southern before starting Atlantic Sun play in Nashville against Lipscomb and Belmont.

Women’s Tennis: 2-2, 0-0 Atlantic Sun.

Georgia State 6, Mercer 1.

Mercer’s women opened their season against in-state rival Georgia State as well, and their 6-1 loss was punctuated with several straight sets losses in singles play.  Lucie Payrat picked up the lone Mercer point on the day, after winning 11-9 in the third and final set.  State proved to be much more experienced and better than the Bears, who look to play their way into the conference tournament again.

Florida A&M 6, Mercer 1.

Jennifer Lada won her singles matchup at the one position in straight sets, but it would prove to be the only good news on the day. Mercer had to default their sixth position, having just five players able to make the trip to Tallahassee. Amanda Bertoni pushed her opponent to an extra set, but it would not be a victory for the Bears. Jennifer Lada and Aurelie de Montjou won their doubles match 8-4, but having to default cost them a chance to win the doubles point

Mercer 7, Young Harris 0.

The Bears devastated Young Harris, in a game that saw former Bear Kelly Blount return to Mercer.  Amalia Bugge and Lucie Payrat won their matches in straight sets, and the Bears saw Lada and Payrat each climb to 2-1 on the year.  Lada and Montjou also went to 2-1 in doubles play this season.  The complete shutout victory was a good turnaround from tough losses against Georgia State and Florida A&M.

Mercer 7, Savannah State 0.

The next day, Mercer continued their home dominance, keeping a 14-0 shutout going with the seven-to-nothing victory of Savannah State.  Only Savannah State’s Diskristjansdottir was able to win a game in singles play, with every player losing in straight shutout sets.  Lada and Payrat are now each 3-1 in singles play on the year.  The same goes for doubles play, as the visitors could not manage to win a single game, losing all three doubles matches 8-0.  Lada and Montjou improved their record to 3-1 on the season in doubles play.

The women have home matches against Jacksonville State and Chattanooga remaining before going on the road to Lipscomb and Belmont to start the season.  They will have to overcome the lack of a bench in order to achieve a spot in the Atlantic Sun tournament.

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