Men’s tennis closes season with back-to-back wins

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From Staff Reports

Tiago Ferreira, a sophomore from Lisbon, Portugal serves the ball to his EDU opponent, April 7. Staff photo by Nicole Diseker.

Tiago Ferreira, a sophomore from Lisbon, Portugal serves the ball to his EDU opponent, April 7. Staff photo by Nicole Diseker.

The Southeastern men’s tennis team closed out the regular season with back-to-back wins, earning a 5-4 victory over Arkansas-Ft. Smith April 11 that followed the team’s Great American Conference-clinching win over rival East Central the day before. The Savage Storm finished the season at 13-6 overall, winning five of their last six matches. Three of those matches were part of the team’s run through the conference opposition in which it earned 6-3 wins over Ouachita Baptist and Harding, followed by the 5-4 victory over ECU to win the regular season GAC championship and earn the top seed in the conference tournament. The Storm will face Ouachita Baptist in the first round of the tournament at 10 a.m. April 18. In the matchup against UAFS, SE found itself in an early hole after taking just one match in doubles play, that coming thanks to an 8-2 win by Nathan Nelmes and Billy Haugen over Ryan Heslop and Sean Manning at the No. 3 position. Despite a strong effort at No. 1 doubles by Martin Bedcarratz and Petar Popovic who dropped their matchup 9-7, SE finished doubles trailing 2-1. In singles play, Alberto Blesa turned in a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over Chris Ramirez at No. 1 to even the score at 2-2. On his heels, Nelmes gave SE the lead with a 7-6, 6-1 victory over Jesse Green at No. 2. However, the Lions bounced back with wins at No. 3 and 4 to regain the lead at 4-3. The Storm responded with a 6-2, 6-1 win by Bedcarratz at No. 4 over Caleb Gunsch to even the score, with Renato Joao providing the clinching victory over J.T. Tasker at number six, 6-1, 6-0.