By Taylor Branch
Chattanooga, Tenn.— The UTC men’s tennis team clinched two straight wins with a 5-2 victory over Alabama State.
The Mocs came into the match with momentum after previously defeating Southern Conference opponent The Citadel, 4-3.
UTC got off to a sluggish start but rallied to overcome a 0-2 deficit, giving the Mocs their first away win of the season.
The Hornets took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3. The double sweep was avoided after sophomore Derrick Brown, Marietta, Ga., and junior Nick Wingord, Buenos Aires, Argentina, delivered a 7-5 win over Takura Mlambo and Karlo Skvorc.
The Hornets continued to battle when Mlambo defeated junior Pavels Grigorjevs, Riga Latvia, at No.1.
The Mocs rallied to win all five of the remaining singles, starting with sophomore Nic Wilson, Bristol, Tenn., at No. 4. Junior Luke Saunders, Halifax, Nova Scotia, scored his third straight singles win and tied the match at 2-2 coming away with the victory at No. 4.
“The guys showed a lot of heart in the way they came together as a team and battled back” said head coach Carlos Garcia said to gomocs.com. “Nothing was going our way early, but we managed to stick together and get a win.”
Wingord battled to hold off Ronaldo Matabo (7-5, 6-2) at No. 3 to give Chattanooga a 3-2 lead. Junior Gino Delavalle, Rosario, Argentina, clinched the match at No. 6, making that his third singles victory in a row. Sophomore Lucas Plesky, Buenos Aires, Argentina, delivered the three set win at No. 2 to close out the match.
“This was a great win for our team because our backs were against the wall,” Garcia said to gomocs.com. “I feel as if we became better as a team today after winning in tough conditions on the road.”
Mocs continue SoCon play on March 28th as they host Furman. The Paladins are sitting 2-14 overall but are coming off a conference win against Mercer.