VIDEO: Jean Love Interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – A win in the first match of the day was not enough to stop a forceful Catawba squad's scoring carousel as Carson-Newman fell to Catawba, 5-4, on Friday afternoon at the Buddy Catlett Tennis Complex.
The loss pushes Carson-Newman (2-11, 0-7 SAC) to a seven-match losing streak, the most consecutive losses in a single season since the 2013 squad lost eight in a row.
The Eagle loss pushes the Catawba (4-8, 2-5 SAC) lead in the series to 6-3 since the start of this decade.
"We just can't get out of our own way," head coach Jean Love said. "It beats all I've ever seen, but right now, that's our story. We just can't get out of our own way.
"We are not as bad as our record indicates, but we have made it that way, so we are searching for answers at this point, and sometimes, you know what, players just got to play. They just got to do it and say I'm tired of losing this way and go for it and hopefully win."
In the second-seeded position, Gabriel Dabdab (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Jesus Bacete-Sanz (Madrid, Spain) started the day by keeping their winning streak together alive at three-matches with an 8-4 advantage over Cason Hiers and Ryen Reid.
Marc Bantel (Germany) and Taylor Barie (Woodstock, Ga.) fell in a tough 8-5 manner, facing Samuel Schwarz and Adam Rocko at the three-spot. Bantel and Barie have now lost a pair of consecutive matches.
Rodolfo Schwarz (Brazil) and Kevin Mendes (Chattanooga, Tenn.) held the lead multiple times at the top position over Luca Picci and Lucas Miller but could not hold their serves, falling in an 8-7 tiebreaker, putting Catawba up 2-1 through doubles.
Barie fell heavily at the No. 4 spot to Hiers in straight sets, 6-1 and 6-0 before Dabdab did much of the same at the top-seed against Picci in a pair of 6-2 sets.
Barie and Dabdab both have seven-match winning streaks against them.
At the No. 3 spot, Schwarz could not overcome Reid, falling 6-2 and 6-0 to solidify the win for Catawba on the day as the Indians went up 5-1.
Bantel was able to turn the tide for the Eagles, winning in back-to-back 6-4 sets over Miller at the second-position.
Bacete-Sanz dropped the first set in the No. 5 match to Schwarz, 7-6, before storming back with 6-2 and 6-4 wins to cut the Catawba lead 5-3. The win helped him bring a six-match losing skid to a halt.
Mendes notched the final win of the day at the No. 6 spot over Rocko, but it did not come easy. Rocko was victorious in the first set, 6-4, before Mendes had a strong 6-1 performance in the second to send the last match into a tiebreaker. The third set would need extra points to be played for with Mendes winning 10-6.
The senior now holds the longest winning streak on the team at four matches.
C-N will enjoy a few days off before traveling to Mars Hill for a Thursday meeting with the Mountain Lions to start back-to-back days of action. That match on April 5 will begin at 1 p.m. at the Hart Tennis Complex.