Men's tennis nets first win in conference


They might have picked up their first win in Atlantic Sun play, but with just two matches left in conference play, the Mercer men’s tennis team seems to be on the outside looking in for this year’s Atlantic Sun Championship. As of April 7, the Mercer men are 4-11 overall, with a 1-6 record in the conference. They sit tied for dead last with Kennesaw State and Jacksonville, who also are chasing for the final playoff spot. Coach Warren Woolfolk was very outspoken about his team’s chances though, saying “Our team has the talent to make a postseason run. Tennis is a very mental sport, and with a little confidence I feel we can do a lot of damage in the A-Sun tournament.”

Mercer 6, Kennesaw State 1
After five straight defeats overall and four in conference play, the Mercer men pulled it together on the road to take down the Kennesaw State Owls in tremendous fashion, pulling one win back in a dismal year for the program.
The day started off with the first doubles point in Mercer’s favor since the match against Florida Gulf Coast. Victor Dias and Dave Barton won at the No. 1 doubles, and then Joao Pagan and Vince DeLise were able to dominate at their spot. It was off to a great start for Mercer, and they followed by winning five of the six singles points.
Pierre Tafelski continued his excellent A-Sun play. “He is now 4-1 in our conference at the No.1 position and has put himself in the position to make the All-Conference team if he continues at this pace,” Coach Woolfolk said. Tafelski, Barton, Pagan, Dias and Peter Tauchner were able to save points for the Bears.

Mercer 1, ETSU 6
The Bears came crashing back down to earth after they were blasted unceremoniously by the Bucs 6-1. Only Pierre Tafelski could grab a point, leading to Woolfolk calling him “impressive.” The doubles point would be fiercely fought, with the Bucs taking it 9-7, 8-7, 8-4.
Victor Dias came close to forcing extra sets, but he just could not finish the job in his singles point. ETSU remained undefeated in the conference, and they seem on the verge of clinching the top seed in the tournament. Mercer did snap a streak of five shutouts for ETSU, scoring the first point in play in over two weeks of matches.

Mercer 3, USC Upstate 4
In yet another heartbreak, the Bears would lose by a point to a team they have never defeated. The worst point in the day was definitely the injury to Joao Pagan, who was forced to retire during his singles point. The Bears won the doubles point via the Barton/Dias and Tafelski/Tauchner combos holding on. However, the singles points went 4-2 in favor of the Trojans, with only Dias and DeLise picking up points. Both fought hard and swept their respective opponents.

The Bears will end the season with home matches versus Jacksonville and North Florida on April 13 and 14 respectively.