Men’s tennis conference title hopes fall short

MTennis_DSC_0152_ZenithShrestha
After defeating Coastal Carolina 4-0 in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Championships, the Troy men's tennis team lost in the semifinals to top seed and No. 37 Georgia State 1-4.
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Scott Watkins

Staff Writer

The Troy Trojans men’s tennis team traveled to New Orleans last weekend to take part in the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

Troy entered the tournament as the fourth-seed and knocked off fifth-seed Coastal Carolina in shutout fashion in the first round before falling to one-seed Georgia State.

On Friday, the Trojans captured three singles victories after three matches went unfinished. Freshman Amer Bedwan won the first finished match 6-3, 6-4.

Freshman Jaiqi Duan and junior Mustapha Belcora were the other two singles victors, and they each also won in straight sets.

Senior Pablo Moreno and Belcora paired up to give Troy the first doubles match victory. Coastal Carolina evened doubles play with its own victory with the tandem of Vuk Velickovic and Luiz Faria.

Troy won the tiebreaking doubles match with junior Andy Lau and sophomore Filip Mansson’s 7-6 win to garner the doubles point and a 4-0 victory.

The Trojans met the 37th-ranked Georgia State Panthers on Saturday and lost the semifinal match 4-1.

Bedwan, who finished the season with a team-best 23-9 singles record, won the first singles match 6-4, 6-2. Belcora, Lau and senior Hassan Ndayishimiye were all defeated in three hard-fought sets.

Georgia State, which went on to win the Sun Belt Conference Championship match over South Alabama, won both finished doubles matches by a 6-3 score.

Before the tournament, Moreno was named to the All-Sun Belt Singles Second Team. It is his fourth all-conference accolade after going 19-11 in singles play during the regular season and a 21-8 record in doubles play.

For Head Coach Scott Kidd, the season marked his third consecutive winning season since finishing 8-17 in his first year.