Troy men’s tennis off to slow start

Thomas Gleaton

Chief Copy Editor

Ty Ammons

Staff Writer

Troy’s men’s tennis team dropped its first three regular season meets, losing 1-4 to Louisville and falling 1-6 to both Florida and Ole Miss.

Troy (0-3) dropped all but one of its matches against No. 36 Louisville on Friday, Jan. 15, as well as No. 24 Florida (1-0) on Sunday, Jan. 17. Competition was stiff over the weekend, as the Trojans faced three top 40 teams in a five-day span.

In their opening match against the Cardinals, the Trojans struggled to compete with the hosts, losing four out of six singles matches, the exceptions being senior Daniel Bustamante versus senior Alex Gornet and senior Giovani Samaha versus freshman Brandon Lancaster, whose matches went unfinished.

Troy picked things up in doubles play, however, winning two of three matches against Louisville. Sophomore Mustapha Belcora and junior Pablo Moreno defeated junior Sean Donohue and freshman Carlos Longhi Neto 6-3, while sophomore Andy Lau and Samaha defeated sophomore Courtney Lock and freshman George Hedley 6-3.

Troy’s only loss was sophomore Andre Baldo and freshman Filip Mansson’s 3-6 defeat at the hands of No. 57 senior Jeffrey Brown and senior Alex Gornet.

The Gators’ lineup featured five players ranked in the top 100, and two doubles pairs ranked in the top 40.

Belcora won his line six singles match 7-5, 7-6 against junior Maxx Lipman.

Senior Daniel Bustamante lost to No. 31 senior Diego Hidalgo, and sophomore Andy Lau dropped his match to No. 49 junior Elliot Orkin. Samaha dropped his match against No. 91 freshman Alfredo Perez, while Mansson lost his match to No. 62 sophomore Chase Perez-Blanco.

Moreno dropped his match to No. 97 freshman McClain Kessler.

The doubles team of Baldo and Mansson lost match to the No. 3 doubles team of senior Gordon Watson and Hidalgo. Lau and Samaha lost to the No. 40 doubles team of Lipman and Orkin.

Moreno and Belcora lost to the doubles team of Perez-Blanco and redshirt sophomore Joshua Wardell. Florida scored six points to Troy’s 1.

For its next meet, Troy traveled to Oxford, Mississippi, to play No. 19 Ole Miss (1-0) on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Troy dropped every match but one.

Moreno split his first two sets against sophomore Grey Hamilton, 6-4, 1-6, but Moreno pulled away in the last set, 6-4, to take the match.

Bustamante lost his match against No. 36 senior Stefan Lindmark, and Samaha dropped his match to sophomore Gustav Hansson. Lau lost to freshman Filip Kraljevic, Mansson lost to freshman Fabian Fallert and Belcora lost to junior Ricardo Jorge.

Mansson and Samaha lost in a tiebreaker to the doubles team of sophomore Zvonimir Babic and Kraljevic, while Moreno and Belcora were held scoreless by the doubles team of Fallert and Hamilton.

Lau and Baldo dropped their doubles match in a tiebreaker against Lindmark and Jorge.

Troy’s next matchup is against the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners in Norman, Oklahoma, in the ITA Kickoff weekend, Jan. 23-24.

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