Chief Copy Editor
Troy’s men’s tennis teams went 3-1 in the Mississippi Delta, losing only to Xavier University of Louisiana.
On Thursday, Feb. 25, the Trojans beat Louisiana-Lafayette, but the other half of the squad lost to Xavier.
The Ragin’ Cajuns took the doubles point 2-1. Troy’s only doubles win came from sophomores Andy Lau and Andre Baldo, who won 6-2 over Arthur Libaud and Will Huyton.
Troy took all but two of the singles matches. Only freshman Vaclav Slezak lost in the singles matches, 6-3, 6-1, and Lau’s match, which was in the middle of a tight third set, went unfinished at 1-6, 7-5, 5-4.
Seniors Daniel Bustamante (6-4, 6-3) and Giovani Samaha (7-5, 6-3), junior Pablo Moreno (7-5, 6-1) and sophomore Mustafa Belcora (6-4, 4-6, 6-3) clinched the win for the Trojans, 4-2.
In a similar manner, Xavier, an NAIA team, took the doubles point. Sophomore Calum McKinlay and Junior Fransisco Kim Yim’s match went unfinished at 5-5.
The Gold Rush continued into the singles matches, which were split evenly between the two teams.
McKinlay won 6-3, 6-2, and junior Hassan Ndayishimiye beat his opponent 6-1, 6-2. Yim Kim took his set 6-2, 7-5, but the Gold Rush came back in the last two singles matches to win 4-3.
The next day, Troy swept both its opponents. The varsity team beat New Orleans 7-0, and the junior varsity team beat Mississippi Gulf Coast Community 9-0.
The New Orleans win was Troy’s second shutout of the season (the first came to UTSA, 4-0), and featured only six players.
Moreno, Belcora, Lau, Samaha, Yim Kim and Ndayishimiye all won their singles matches against the Privateers. Though Yim Kim/Ndayishimiye’s doubles match went unfinished, the other two teams won their matches, giving the Trojans the doubles point and the 7-0 victory.
The junior varsity team traveled to Meridian, Mississippi, to take on Mississippi Gulf Coast. The defending Sun Belt champion had no problems with the Bulldogs, winning 9-0.
Mississippi Gulf Coast coach Gary Bourgeois called the game a “tune-up” for his team’s later matches.
“We haven’t really been challenged to this point and I thought we needed to acclimated to the speed of a faster ball,” he said.
The matches against Xavier and Mississippi Gulf Coast do not affect Troy’s overall record. The Trojans officially sit at 3-9, 1-0.
On Friday, Chattanooga will come to town. The 11 a.m. match will be the Trojans’ home opener.