By Shawna O’Neal

The UTC men’s tennis team wrapped up their regular season with a 5-2 loss against the Samford Bulldogs Fri. April 13 at home.
Although this is the team’s third straight loss, Chattanooga Moc’s have a 13-8 overall. It is the most wins they have had in a season since 2007.
They are entering the Southern Conference tournament with a 4-6 league record. Which is also the most league wins since going 5-4 in 2007.
Samford improved to 15-4 for an overall record and 9-1 for SoCon action.
We definitely had our chances and let some matches slip away today,” head coach Carlos Garcia said.  “That being said, we were in it until the end against one of the top teams in the conference.  We just have to find a way to win these close ones.”
Samford started out strong over Chattanooga by winning the first two double matches landing them a 1-0 lead.
Chris Smith, a junior from Johnson City, Tenn., and Roberto Vieira, a junior from Bedfordview, South Africa, were beat by Zac Dunkle and Alexander Sajonz 8-4.
Then Stephan Crofford, a junior from Franklin, Tenn., and Pavels Grigorjevs, a freshman from Rigs, Latvia, lost their double’s match 8-2 versus Fernando Costa and Carson Kadi.
But juniors Ankit Chopra, Chandigrah, India, and Jackson Tresnan, Apopka, Fla., did win the third match for UTC, 8-7. They went 7-5 in the tiebreaker against Elliot Barnwell and Ryan Shidler.
After losing the doubles point, Chattanooga fought back for tight competition for the rest of the day, but it would not be enough.
Only two Mocs won their singles matches. Number two Manuel Barroetavena, a junior from Bueno Aires, Argentina, tied Samford’s Kadi 6-2,6-2. It was Barroetavena’s 20th win of the season, a team-high.
He improved to 16-4 in spring dual action. He has had the most wins in the spring season since Peter Sauska in 2007 who also went 16-4.
Then number four, Chopra won against Costa 7-5, 6-1. Chopra tied the match for the Mocs until Tresnan was defeated by Alexander Sajonz 6-3, 7-5.
The rest of the matches were all in a third set. Number one Vieira dropped his match to Dunkle 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.
Smith, in the number three slot had a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 loss against the Bulldog’s Barnwell.
Chattanooga’s number six, Grigorjevs, was defeated by Garrison Laduca in a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5) match.
The Mocs will travel to Charleston, S.C., to compete in the Southern Conference tournament beginning Thurs. April 19 against Davidson. From there the tournament will continue until Sun. April 22. The first serve is set for 9:00 a.m. (E.D.T.) at The Citadel.
The Mocs had a 4-3 loss to the Wildcats earlier in the season at home.
Davidson has a 7-13 overall record with a 3-7 SoCon record.
Chattanooga has been seeded in the number eight spot with Davidson in the ninth.
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