Appalachian State University men’s tennis team endured two tough matches this weekend, but managed to finally earn their first win of the season.
The Mountaineers (1-4) opened up the weekend with a 6-1 loss to East Tennessee State University (3-2) Saturday afternoon at the Deer Valley Racquet Club.
It was the fourth straight loss to start the season as ASU has struggled with a difficult opening schedule, facing three nationally ranked opponents in the first four matches.
Zach Bost and Sebastian King defeated Jesus Bandres and Rogerio Ribeiro in doubles at the No. 1 position, but Appalachian was unable to secure a win at No. 2 and No. 3, losing 8-2 and 8-4.
Freshman Jan-Willem Kleynhans tallied his first career victory as a Mountaineer, with a win over Ricardo Pabon 6-2, 7-6 at No. 6 singles, according to goasu.com.
Unfortunately, No. 73 ETSU already clinched the match, due to no other Mountaineer coming away with a victory.
“We’re not used to starting out a season 0-4,” head coach Bob Lake said. “We can’t just rely on our seniors to pull us through. We need everybody on the team to step up.”
The Mountaineers responded with a dramatic 4-3 win over Tennessee Tech (0-7) Sunday, earning their first mark in the win column this season.
The match started out slow for the Mountaineers, losing in the singles No. 1 and No. 2 positions. The first win in singles came when Steve Karendal defeated Artem Tarasov, 6-1, 6-0 in No. 3 spot.
Kleynhans earned his second singles win in a row over the weekend when he beat Vasily Eremeev, 6-3, 6-2 in No. 4 singles, bringing ASU back within one point of Tennessee Tech.
With momentum going into the final two games, junior Matt Saltsgaver won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 5, while senior Andrew McKinnon won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 6, clinching the Mountaineer victory.
After the match, Lake said that everyone is happy to finally get a win this season.
“We know what we’re capable of as a team, we just have to go out and execute,” Lake said.
Appalachian will look for their second win Saturday, at 3 p.m. when they travel on the road to play UNC-Asheville.
Story: MATTHEW SMITH, Intern Sports Reporter
Photo: COURTNEY ROSKOS, Staff Photographer