The Chattanooga men’s tennis team improved to 2-1 on the year with Sunday’s narrow victory over visiting Belmont on Sunday at the Hixson Racquet Club. The Mocs captured the doubles point and three singles matches in their 4-3, down-to-the-wire win over the Bruins.
“It was a tale of two matches today,” Chattanooga coach Carlos Garcia said. “We won a quick doubles point and then went up 3-0 with two singles wins. We lost the first set in the next four matches and did a great job winning back the momentum.”
UTC opened with two doubles wins to take a 1-0 lead. Seniors Chris Smith and Roberto Vieria improved to 2-0 on the year with their 8-3 win over Renato Antun and Navarro Veys at No. 1, while seniors Manuel Barreotavena and Jackson Tresnan clinched the point with their 8-3 win at No. 2.
The Mocs jumped out to a 3-0 lead with quick singles victories at No. 5 and No. 6. Tresnan didn’t drop a single game in his (6-0, 6-0) win over Hans Nardelli at No. 6, and freshman Luke Saunders followed that with a (6-3, 6-3) win over Bruno Silva at No. 5.
Tresnan improved to 2-0 in singles action this spring, while Saunders remained unbeaten (3-0) since joining the Mocs at the semester break.
The Bruins stormed back in the next three matches, though, tying the score at 3-3. Antum defeated Smith (6-3, 6-4) at No. 2, Viera fell at No. 1 (6-2, 6-3), and Belmont tied things up with Navarro Veys’ (7-5, 6-3) win over Pavels Grigorjevs.
Barreotavena defeated Fernando Mussolini in the No. 3 singles match to seal the win.
“If we didn’t have as many seniors on our team, I don’t think we could have stopped that comeback,” Garcia said. “It is that type of leadership we are going to need to show when we get into those tough Southern Conference Championships.”
Mussolini took the lead with his 6-3 win in the first set, and led 3-0 in the second before Barroetavena stormed back with six straight games to win 6-3. The final frame went back and forth, but Barroetavena broke through with a 6-4 win and deciding team point.
The Mocs return to action Saturday when they host Jacksonville State at the Hixson Racquet Club.