The men’s and women’s tennis teams traveled to Knoxville last week and competed in the ITA Regionals. The event lasted five days, and the Bucs found some great success on both sides.
Senior pair David Gonzalez (Barcelona, Spain) and Sergi Fontcuberta (Barcelona, Spain) had success the first day of events, defeating Kentucky 8-1. Sophomore’s Frazier Rengifo (Cali, Columbia) and Yusuf Khamis (Cairo, Egypt) also gained a win over Tennessee Tech 8-6.
In singles play, Khamis won 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1 and Rengifo won 7-6, 6-4.
On the women’s side, Andrea Pascual-Larringa (Basauri, Spain) won in singles play 6-2, 6-2, while Yi Chi Ma (Kaohsiung, Taiwan) won against Miami-Ohio in 6-7, (3), 6-2, 6-4.
The Bucs were able to pick up nine wins on the second day of the event. For the men, Fontcuberta had a highlighted performance gaining two wins in singles play. Junior pair Juan Lugo (Maracay, Venezuela) and Miguel Este (Caracas, Venezuela) grabbed a win for the Bucs against Indiana 8-6.
For the women, Pascual-Larrinaga had a successful day as well wining two games in singles play and beating competition from Tennessee 6-4, 6-3 and Purdue 2-6, 7-6 (6), 7-5. Sophomore Alejandra Morales (Santiago, Chile) paired with Pascual-Larrinaga and won a double 8-2.
Juan Lugo found success in the quarterfinals with a walkover and a win against from Texas Tech, 6-3, 3-6, 10-8. Lugo advanced to the finals and won against conference rival Kerim Hyatt from Chattanooga 6-2, 6-4 to win the singles consolation championship.
The women concluded their play with advancing to round of 16. The main consolations for the Bucs were Morales 6-1, 6-1, and freshmen Laylo Bakhodirova (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) 6-7, (6), 6-4, 1-0 (5).
“Things are looking good this year for us,” says men’s head coach Martin Stiegwardt.
This win is big for the Bucs as it gives them confidence for the upcoming season ahead.
“We want to fight for that extra seed and hopefully break into the top 50,” said Stiegwardt.
The Bucs’ next stop is the CCB College Invitational, marking their last event before the regular season starts in January against Appalachian State.