Men's tennis drops tight contests, losing skid extends season-high 5

The Mercer men’s tennis team recently opened conference play in the Atlantic Sun with a trip to Florida to play Florida Gulf Coast University and Stetson University, before returning to Macon to face Belmont and Lipscomb.
Mercer 3, FGCU 4
The Bears took the double point from the Eagles with a 2-1 margin. The No. 1 doubles team of Dave Barton/Victor Dias won 8-3, while the No. 3 team of Vincent DeLise/Joao Pagan won 8-5. Pierre Tafelski/Peter Tauchner would fall at No. 2 doubles 6-8.  The Eagles would equalize, as No. 3 singles Pagan would fall 1-6. No. 4 Barton would put the Bears back on top with a 6-3, 6-1 victory. The team from Macon would then trail 2-3, as both No. 5 and No. 6 singles would lose close matches, with Delise falling 4-6, 3-6, and Dias 5-7, 5-7, respectively. No. 2 Tauchner would seal it, losing a tight three-set match 6-4, 4-6, 1-6. No. 1 Tafelski would not be denied, however, winning a marathon match 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 12-10 in the super tie-breaker.
Mercer 2, Stetson 5
Mercer would not be able to secure the doubles point against the hatters, as all three teams would lose. Tauchner/Tafelski would fall 2-8 at No. 2, Barton/Dias would lose a close one 6-8, and DeLise/Pagan dropped an even closer one 7-8. Singles wouldn’t fare much better against Stetson, as Dias would lose at No. 5 (1-6, 3-6). DeLise continued his impressive freshman season with a 6-2, 6-0 victory at No. 6. No.1 Tafelski lost 5-7, 1-6, followed by No. 2 Tauchner losing 3-6, 5-7. Barton then couldn’t prevail at No.4 (4-6, 5-7), while Pagan won at No. 3 (6-3, 5-7, 1-0).
Belmont 4, Mercer 3
Hosting its first conference match, the Bears could not capture the doubles point and it cost them. No. 3 DeLise/Pagan dominated 8-0. Mercer however, could not steal another victory, with No. 1 Barton/Dias falling 6-8 and No. 2 Tauchner/Tafelski losing 8-9. No. 3 Pagan lost 3-6, 2-6, putting the home team down 0-2. No. 4 Barton would add to this deficit, falling 1-6, 2-6. Mercer was down, but not out. The orange and black would respond with three victories of its own, with No. 6 Dias, No. 1 Tafelsi, and No. 5 DeLise all winning their matches. Unfortunately, No. 2 Tauchner would lose in another three-set epic, 6-3, 4-6, 5-7, which resulted in the Bears’ defeat.
Lipscomb 4, Mercer 3
Mercer had another heart-breaking 3-4 loss on Saturday, falling to the Lipscomb Bison. The Bears lost all three doubles matches, with No. 1 Barton/Dias falling 6-8, No. 2 Tafelski/Tauchner 5-8, and No.3 DeLise/Pagan 4-8. The Bears would equalize after No. Barton would win 5-0 after his opponent retired with an injury. The orange and black would not be tied for long, as DeLise lost 2-6, 2-6 at No.5.  Mercer would equalize again with No. 1 Tafelski’s 6-3, 6-2 win. However, Tauchner and Dias could not secure their matches, both in three sets, to give the Bison the win.
Mercer is 3-8, 0-4 in conference. They head into a four-game stint on Saturday, at KSU.