Eagles squeak out 5-4 victory against Indians

SAILSBURY, N.C. – For the third time this season the Carson-Newman men's tennis team won the final match of the afternoon, this time it came against the Catawba Indians.


"What a good tennis match for the guys," Carson-Newman tennis coach Jean Love said. "We got a nice start winning two out of three doubles matches. All the singles matches were really tight and competitive and it came down to the final match left on the court. Jesus (Bacete-Sanz) came up big with a straight set win to secure the victory."


Carson-Newman (4-5, 3-2) won two out of three doubles matches to gain the early momentum in a very difficult match against Catawba (9-9, 3-4). The No. 1 doubles tandem of Stefano Daza (Venezuela) and Rodolfo Schwarz (Brazil) won their first match of the season as doubles partners. The duo won 8-5 against Michael Patch and Luca Picci, the win breaks a seven match losing streak for Daza and Schwarz.


The No. 2 doubles tandem of Gabriel Dabdab (Brazil) and Joao Pedro Oliveria (Brazil) won their fourth consecutive match when paired together in doubles play. The duo defeated Ryen Reid and Cason Hiers 8-4, giving the Eagles an early 2-0 lead.


The final doubles tandem of Marc Bantel (Germany) and Jesus Bacete-Sanz (Spain) lost 8-5 to the tandem of Adam Rocko and Lucas Miller. It was just the second time this season that Bantel and Bacete-Sanz had been paired together in doubles play.


Oliveria set the tone in singles play for the Eagles winning the first set 6-4 against Patch at No.1 singles. The senior won the second set 6-3, improving his record to 5-4 on the season and giving the Eagles a much needed 3-1 advantage in the match.


Daza got the nod at No. 2 singles for just the second time all season. The senior was unable to pick up the win, falling in straight sets 6-4, 6-3. Schwarz got the start at No. 3 singles, it was the first time all season that the junior had not played in the No. 2 position. Schwarz was unable to break his recent losing streak, as he fell in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.


Bantel got the start at No. 4 singles for just the second time this season. This time out Bantel lost in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 and dropped his overall record to 3-7 on the year. With the Eagles down 4-3 going into the final two matches of the afternoon, Bacete-Sanz and Kevin Mendes (Chattanooga, Tenn.) had to win their matches if the Eagles hoped to win.


Mendes got things going for the Eagles at No. 6 singles. The junior won in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 to pull the match score even at 4-4. Mendes is currently riding a four match winning streak and is now 6-1 on the season.


The No. 5 singles match between Bacete-Sanz and Hiers was the final match of the evening. Bacete-Sanz came through with a big 6-4, 7-5 straight sets win to give the Eagles the 5-4 victory. Bacete-Sanz picked up his first conference win of the season in the process.


The Eagles next match will be on the road against Tusculum on Wednesday, March 22 at 1 p.m.