Men's Tennis Heads to Jacksonville State for Final Non-Conference Match Wednesday
MACON, Ga.—The Mercer men's tennis team will step out of conference for the final time in 2012 on Wednesday, traveling to Jacksonville State.
Mercer will be looking to rebound from a tough weekend, which saw the Bears drop a pair of Atlantic Sun matches at East Tennessee State and USC Upstate. The Bears dropped a 6-1 decision to the Bucs on Friday, while losing 4-3 to USC Upstate on Saturday. It was the Bears' third 4-3 loss in A-Sun play this season.
The Bears opened the weekend with a trip to Johnson City, Tenn. to battle with perennial league power East Tennessee State. The Bears dropped a 6-1 to the Bucs, with Pierre Tafelski earning a 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-6) decision over ETSU's Jesus Bandres in what was one of the more thrilling points of the afternoon.
The Bears fought valiantly in the doubles competition, and were competitive at all three positions. At the No. 1 position, ETSU's Sander Gille and Robin Asker scored a 9-7 triumph over Mercer's David Barton and Victor Dias.
The Bucs completed the sweep of the doubles point, as Jesus Bandres and Roger Ribeiro claimed an 8-4 win over Mercer's Peter Tauchner and Pierre Tafelski at the No. 3.
At USC Upstate on Saturday, the Bears dropped their third 4-3 decision of the campaign. The match with the Spartans was in somewhat similar fashion to the 5-2 match that Upstate claimed at the Leroy Peddy Tennis Center a little over a year ago.
Mercer began the afternoon match in strong match, winning the doubles point as a result of wins at the No. 1 and 3 positions. David Barton and Victor Dias came up with an 8-6 result over Upstate's Ramiro Blanco and Mathias Kidler at the No. 1, while Pierre Tafelski and Peter Tauchner combined to post a hard-fought 9-7 win at the No. 3.
In singles play, the Bears garnered points with wins at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions, courtesy of Victor Dias and Vincent DeLise. Dias picked up a 6-3, 6-3, win over Upstate's Pierre Vernin at the No. 5 flight, while DeLise posted a 6-3, 6-4 win over Tyler Grove at the No. 6.
After holding a 1-0 lead following the doubles point win, the Bears dropped singles match at the top four positions, including having to surrender a potential point at the No. 3 when Joao Pagan was forced to retire with an injury, affording the point to Upstate's Gonzalo Blanco.
Scouting the Gamecocks:
Jacksonville State comes into the midweek non-conference tilt against the Bears with a 9-12 overall record. The Gamecocks play as members of the Ohio Valley Conference, and have posted a 4-3 record in league action so far this season.
The Gamecocks are coming off a 6-1 road result at Murray State last Friday. The victory put the Gamecocks in position to clinch a bid to the league's postseason tournament. In the win over the Racers, the Gamecocks swept all three doubles matches to clinch the first point, and then proceeded to take five of the six singles matches en route to the decisive victory.
Jacksonville State is led by Nenad Marcec and Igor Santos. Marcec has posted 15-5 overall record this season, logging a majority of his action at the No. 3. Meanwhile, Santos has posted a 15-5 overall mark, with all 15 decisions coming at the No. 2 position (15-2).
Last Time They Met (Mercer 5, Jacksonville State 2)
The Bears and Gamecocks met a little less than two months ago at the Leroy Peddy Tennis Center, with Mercer claiming the 5-2 triumph back on Feb. 21.
The Bears men's team got out to a quick, decisive 1-0 start by taking all three doubles matches. Mercer's No. 1 player Pierre Tafelski finished first to set the tone in the singles matches, taking a 6-0, 6-1 win over Axel Sundberg.
No. 4 Joao Pagan, No. 5 Vincent DeLise and No. 6 Victor Dias all picked up wins to pull out the home victory for the Bears. DeLise pulled out an impressive win in a marathon match with JSU's Felipe Watanabe to close out the day. The freshman fought back from a 4-2 second-set deficit to take a 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) straight-set win.