Troy men’s tennis team struggles against tough competition in ITA regionals

Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

The Troy men’s tennis team found some success in singles competition but struggled in the doubles phase at the ITA Men’s Southern Regional Championship hosted by Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Troy faced 14 schools from the states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana in the five-day tournament. The Trojans went up against five SEC schools, two Sun Belt Schools — including rival South Alabama — and two other schools from Alabama in UAB and Jacksonville State.

On the first day of the tournament, Troy picked up three singles wins. Christopher Tasker, Jiaqi Duan and Pelayo Antuña defeated their opponents from New Orleans, UAB and Auburn, respectively.

The team’s biggest win of the day was Antuña’s 6-4, 6-3 victory over Alex Mascioli of Auburn. This victory sent Antuña to the qualifying finals round.

The Trojans’ best showing was in the consolation qualifying singles. Duan, Andres Romero and Sam Bird won all three matches in which Troy competed.

On day two, Tasker, Duan and Antuña all picked up singles victories again. Jorge Poyatos, Shaaz Peerani and Ignacio Rodriguez also won their singles matches, giving the Trojans six singles wins on the day.

Antuña, Mustapha Belcora, Antonio Selma and Andy Lau all advanced to the round of 64, but none were able to advance to the round of 32.

In doubles play, Selma and Romero defeated the University of New Orleans in a doubles match with a score of 8-5.

In their doubles match, Duan and Pentuña fell 8-5 to Edson Ortiz and Zhe Zhou from the University of Alabama.

On Saturday — day three of the tournament — the Trojans fell to Tulane and twice to South Alabama in singles matches. Troy lost to all four doubles matches, facing duos from Samford, LSU, Ole Miss and Tulane.

Next, the team will compete at the Juan Varon Memorial Wildcat Invitational hosted by Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. The tournament starts Friday and will play through Sunday.

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