By: Brandon Lee
The Troy men’s tennis team took its talents to Clinton, S.C., to open the 2013 spring season last Friday, and returned home with a 4-3 win over the Presbyterian Blue Hose.
It was up to Sami Ghorbel to decide the match, and he took the fifth singles in three sets, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3 to defeat the reigning Big South runner-up.
Strong doubles play early in the day helped the Trojans to the win, as Daniel Bustamante and Anas Rouchdi won at third doubles, 8-4, while Ghorbel and Andre Stabile won at first doubles, 8-6, to clinch the opening point.
Patrick Eichler and Bustamante also took home wins in singles play at the sixth and third positions, respectively.
Presbyterian won at first, second and fourth singles, as Troy’s Mansingh Athare fell in the fourth despite winning the first set, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Troy looked to continue its perfect weekend on Sunday, but fell to the No. 42 ranked UNC Wilmington Seahawks, 7-0.
Troy fell behind early as they dropped the first two doubles matches, and also lost all six singles contests in straight sets. Stablile drew a tough opponent, No. 37 Rafel Aita, and retired after going down 6-3, 5-1.
Tuesday, the Trojans fell to another ranked opponent, the No. 21 Auburn Tigers, 6-1.
Troy dropped the doubles point that included a loss to the No. 2 pair in the nation, before dropping five singles matches.
Sami Ghorbel took the lone win for Troy, at fifth singles, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. Anas Rouchdi also went to three sets, but fell, 7-5, 1-6, 6-7, giving Auburn the final 6-1 margin.
The men will return to the court on Feb. 1 when they travel to Florida Gulf Coast.
The Troy women’s tennis team didn’t shy away from the tough competition, as they fell to No. 38 Florida State on Jan. 15 to open their spring season.
The Trojans nearly took the day’s opening point in doubles play with a win by default in the third doubles, but narrowly lost at first and second to drop the point.
The Trojans’ All-Sun Belt pair of Lyubov Dorofeeva and Karoline Grymel fell to Florida State’s top team, 8-4, at first doubles, just before Troy newcomers Anja Cosovic and Hannah Toro narrowly fell at second doubles, 8-6.
“Today was a golden opportunity that we let slip away,” Troy head coach Eric Hayes said. “Florida State is a legitimate Top 20 team.”
In singles competition, Florida State (1-0) sent out three nationally ranked players as the Seminoles took five of the six matches. Troy’s lone win came at sixth singles, by default.
Toro put up a strong showing at second singles against FSU’s highest ranked player, No.48 Mia Vriens, nearly taking the first set before falling in straight sets, 7-6, 6-3.
The Trojans then traveled to Athens, Ga., to face-off with No. 58 Memphis in seven singles matches and three doubles matches.
Troy’s Candela Munoz Giron took the lone win of the day for the Trojans, winning her singles match of Memphis’ Kelly Gray in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4.
The team continued play in Georgia Saturday, and highlighted day two of the tournament with a doubles victory over No. 6 Georgia.
Troy’s duo of Karoline Grymel and Lyubov Dorofeeva started the day by beating Georgia’s first doubles pair, Lauren Herring and Mia King in a tiebreaker, 8-7 (5).
Herring is ranked 15th in the nation in doubles with her usual partner, Kate Fuller. Fuller played at second doubles with Silvia Garcia against Troy’s Hannah Toro and Anja Cosovic, with the Trojans nearly pulling that upset as well. Toro and Cosovic lost in a tiebreaker, 8-7 (5).
Sunday wrapped up the Georgia Invitational for the Trojans as they dropped all six matches on the day in straight sets to the host Bulldogs.
Candela Munoz Giron put up the biggest fight on any Trojan and nearly pulled off a 3-0 weekend, but the sophomore fell to UGA’s Lill Kimbell, 7-6 (11-9), 7-5. Munoz Giron won her singles matches on Friday and Saturday.
Georgia’s lineup featured ITA ranked No.8 Lauren Herring, No.54 Kate Fuller and No.76 Makenzie Craft.
The Trojan women return to the court on Feb. 2 when they travel to UALR.