Men's tennis looks promising early in season

(photo courtesy of Mercer’s Guilherme Frias volleys a serve in a recent match as the Bears get off to a hot start in conference play.

(photo courtesy of Mercer’s Guilherme Frias volleys a serve in a recent match as the Bears get off to a hot start in conference play.

(photo courtesy of Mercer’s Guilherme Frias volleys a serve in a recent match as the Bears get off to a hot start in conference play.

Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams have had mixed starts to their 2011 seasons, with Mercer’s men at 6-6 and Mercer’s women at 2-8 through March 15. Despite the tough starts to the season the Bears have performed well at home, including a combined 14-0 sweep of Young Harris by the men and women combined.

Men’s Tennis: 6-6 (3-1)
Lipscomb 4, Mercer 3
Peter Tauchner and Dave Barton were the only two able to pick up singles points against conference rival Lipscomb in Nashville. The Bison were too strong as individuals, but the Bears won the doubles point. Fernando Armendaris and Evandro Rosindo pushed their opponents to the tiebreaker in their nail-biting third sets, but it was not enough for the Bears as they dropped the first Atlantic Sun match of the season.

Mercer 4, Belmont 2
Tefelski and Frias are now each 6-3 on the year, and the Bears picked up a great conference road win in Nashville against Belmont. Belmont dropped their fifth straight match on the season and Mercer won their first match in over a week. There were no doubles matches played, but even then the singles dominance was enough for Mercer to achieve victory.

App. State 6, Mercer 1
Despite starting the day off well with a doubles victory, Mercer lost their sixth match of the season. Every player lost their singles matchup and only Rosindo and Frias were able to come close to winning their matchups, and they each lost their third set 6-0.

Mercer 5, Stetson 2
Getting back into Atlantic Sun play, the Bears recorded a second conference victory against the Stetson Hatters. Frias and Tefelski were tested, but each rose to 7-4 this season. Barton rose to 7-3. Mercer won the doubles point and they dominated at home against a Stetson team who had won 10 matches so far this season.

Mercer 7, FGCU 0
Mercer handed the FGCU Eagles their tenth loss of the season on March 12, and Tefelski and Frias each recorded their eighth wins on the year. Armendaris recorded his seventh win this season his doubles team recorded their ninth victory on the year, including their seventh in a row. Tauchner ended his losing streak, getting a sixth singles victory.
Mercer is next in action against Butler University at home on Wednesday, but then they re-enter conference play with a trip to North Florida and Jacksonville this weekend, March 18-19. The Bears return home with games against USC Upstate and Campbell the following weekend.

Women’s Tennis: 2-8 (0-4)
Chattanooga 7, Mercer 0
It was not a good day for the Bears as the women were shut out at home to Chattanooga. The Bears lost the doubles point and were unable to even force a third set in any singles match.

Lipscomb 4, Mercer 3
If Mercer had six players on the women’s tennis team, they could have defeated Lipscomb. Losing a singles point automatically and losing part of the doubles match to begin with made the attempt to knock off Lipscomb almost impossible, despite winning the other matches 3-2 and splitting the doubles point.

Belmont 4, Mercer 3
Belmont won the doubles point and Mercer was unable to get four out of six singles points to win the match as Belmont won their first conference game of the year. Lada won her fifth match of the year despite the Bears dropping their third straight.

UNC-Wil. 7, Mercer 0
The Bears were hard-pressed to find anything of substance to take back from their thrashing defeat at the hands of UNC Wilmington. Being swept proved that the Bears had a lot of growing to do if they were going to contend in conference play.

Stetson 7, Mercer 0
Same story, different day for the Mercer Bears women’s tennis team as they traveled home to meet Stetson. The Bears dropped their fifth in a row and have not scored a point since the close loss to Belmont.

FGCU 4, Mercer 3
A sixth defeat in a row and their third in a stretch of one-point losses, the Mercer Bears could find little solace in a 3-3 split of the singles play as their doubles play continues to haunt them. Lada won his sixth this year but the rest of the team is really dealing with a tough rest of the season.