GSU splits last two matches

Lucas Baggett

The Georgia Southern University men’s tennis team defeated Samford University 4-3 but fell short to the University of Tennessee Chattanooga 6-1 over the weekend.

The first match of the weekend was against Samford, which ended in a victory for the Eagles.

The doubles portion of the match went down to the play of senior Alex Doherty and sophomore Kyle Hoffman who clinched the point for the Eagles after they defeated their opponents 8-6.

Freshman Rayane Djouad beat his opponent in the No.1 singles spot 6-4, 6-2 to open up singles play.

After a win by junior Marco Osorio, sophomore Albert Codina Sala clinched the match for the Eagles after his exciting 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 win at the No. 2 singles spot.

“The point that I learned today was that even though you start a bad match, and you don’t play your best you got to be fighting until the end. That’s a big lesson personally and for the team,” Sala said.

Head coach Nick Zieziula was thrilled with his team’s play in both singles and doubles.

“Our doubles were outstanding today, even at two where we lost. We controlled the flow of the play through the first five games. Our singles play was outstanding as well. The dog and determination we showed to not back down and give support to our teammates who were getting clinches was great,” Zieziula said.

Next for the Eagles was the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, which was the Eagles’ last home match and Senior Day.

The Eagles came up short in doubles after dropping two of three matches. The team of Djouad and Osorio gave GSU its only doubles win of the day.

UTC continued its dominance as it took five of six singles points from the Eagles.

After winning in doubles, Djouad ended his first regular season as an Eagle with a 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 win at the No. 1 singles spot.

Seniors Doherty and Verdam did not play a singles match, but had a good experience in the tennis program.

“My overall experience has been very good. It’s incredible what experience you can get from playing a sport and being in college at the same time. I’m really happy to be finishing. I’ve had a great time,” Verdam said.

The Eagles finished its regular season 10-8 and 6-4 in the conference. The SoCon tournament will be April 18-21 in Elon, N.C.