Men’s & Women’s Team Triumph in Season Opener
Junior Norville Carey dunks the ball during the Golden Eagles home game against UAB Jan. 17 falling to the Blazers. Southern Miss faces Rice this week on the road in Houston, Texas.
Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams started their season in dominating fashion, each winning their first two matches of the season.
The men’s team began their season with 4-0 wins over Jacksonville State and Alcorn State Saturday at the USM Tennis Courts.
Chao-Yu Huang and Wen-Po Tseng got it started with a 7-5 victory over Pedro Wagner and Jeff Windler-Filho of JSU in the first doubles action of the afternoon. Alex Doleac and Daniel Merker kept the momentum going with a 6-3 win over Jaryd Reese and Dylan Gee.
In singles action, Tarun Surat, Huang and Mikhail Esipov each picked up wins over Wagner, Mathias Chaim and Gee, respectively.
Against Alcorn State, Surat, Rakshit Rishi and Grigory Trotsenko each picked up victories in their singles’ matches. Doleac and Merker won their doubles match 6-0 and Brad Marriot and Esipov notched another doubles win ove ASU 6-1.
“The team got the season off to a good start winning a double-header against (JSU) and (ASU) 4-0,” said head coach Zubin Engineer. “Both these teams have won their conference championships and made the NCAA tournament last year.”
On the women’s side, Carolin Drescher, Lisa Schneider and Elena Roca each won their singles’ matches in convincing fashion against JSU. Claudia Castella was the only member of the women’s team to lose her singles match.
But she rebounded nicely in her doubles match with Schneider, going up 5-0 before time ran out. Drescher and Alex Kitchen teamed up for a 6-4 win in their matchup while Karina Gurgenyan and Roca won their match 6-1 against JSU.
Facing Alabama A&M Sunday, the women’s team continued their dominating momentum with a 4-0 win. Kitchen, Gurgenyan and Roca each won their singles matches easily. Gurgenyan was particularly dominating, winning in straight sets, 6-0 each time.
In doubles action, Drescher and Kitchen teamed up for a 6-1 win over Shantal Blackwood and Arrice Robinson (Alabama A&M). Castella and Schneider won 6-1 over Symone Townsend and Elysia Ortiz (Alabama A&M). Gurgenyan and Roca were on their way to a win, up 5-2, before running out of time.
The women’s team will hope to keep up their dominating pace Saturday when they host William Carey and ASU for a double-header. The men’s team does not play again until Feb. 7 when they travel to Troy, Alabama for a double-header against Troy and Alabama State.