HICKORY, N.C.- In a match that took seven hours and two minutes to play the Carson-Newman Eagles took a 5-4 victory over the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears.
"One of the longest matches I have been apart of. It was awesome." Carson-Newman tennis coach Jean Love said, "We were down 7-2 at No.2 doubles before coming back to win it in a tie break. Looking back that was a huge win for us."
The final match of the night between Kevin Mendes (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Paul Lenz was a three set thriller which saw the Eagles come out on top. Mendes lost the first set 5-7 but then took the second set 6-4. That setup a winners take all final third set between the two opponents. Mendes won with ease shutting out his opponent in the final set 6-0 to earn the victory for the Eagles.
For the second consecutive match Carson-Newman (2-4, 1-1) won two out of three doubles matches. Lenoir-Rhyne (6-4, 1-3) got the better of the Eagles at No.1 doubles winning 8-3 with the tandem of Tomas Hons and Shane O'Dea. With the loss Rodolfo Schwarz (Brazil) and Stefano Daza (Venezuela) fall to 0-5 on the season at No.1 doubles.
Joao Pedro Oliveria (Brazil) and Gabriel Dabdab (Brazil) earned a hard fought victory at No.2 doubles (9-8) to improve 4 wins on the season. Jesus Bacete-Sanz (Spain) and Marc Bantel (Germany) picked up the crucial 8-6 win at No.3 doubles. The win gave the Eagles a 2-1 advantage heading into singles play.
Oliveria got things going for the men's tennis team in singles action winning a three set match 7-6, 5-7, 6-3. It is the fourth win for Oliveria this season. Bantel snaps a four match losing streak to begin the season with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory at No.3 singles.
Schwarz continues his struggles at the No.2 singles position falling in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. The loss gives Schwarz a 1-5 record on the season. Daza has now lost two straight matches after a 7-6, 6-3 defeat at No.3 singles. Dabdab saw a four match winning streak come to a close this afternoon with a 6-1, 6-2 loss at No.5 singles.
The Eagles are on the road again next week, March 11 against Coker at 1 p.m.