Tide tennis faces mishaps in MississippiBy Jasmine Cannon | 04/10/2011 9:04am
After losing to Ole Miss on Friday, the men's tennis team suffered a loss against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Sunday. The two losses pushed the Tide's record to 9-10 overall and 2-9 in the Southeastern Conference.
On Friday, the Ole Miss Rebels won all of the doubles matches, as well as four out of the six singles matches, to clinch the 5-2 victory over Alabama.
While the Tide started off somewhat slow against Mississippi State, the team was relentless throughout the match.
“I was proud of our fight,” said head coach Billy Pate. “We did persevere. We certainly battled back and gave ourselves a chance in the match. Mississippi State’s really good. They’re playing really well. We knew that going in. We just dug ourselves in a hole. We got down in almost every match we were in today — doubles and singles, and then we started a rally. It’s hard to come back from that kind of deficit against a really good team. Hats off to Mississippi State; they’re a really good team and they compete really hard.”
In the doubles matches, Mississippi State's Malte Stropp and Louis Cant defeated Ricky Doverspike and Jarryd Botha 8-6, while the Tide's Daniil Proskura and Trey Walston lost their doubles match 8-5. Doverspike and Botha were down 7-1 before making a comeback that almost ended in victory. “You want to get the doubles points,” Walston said. “We’d like to get that, but it’s not the end all of be all. After we lose we have to get ready for singles and win four singles if we can. It’s tough to lose [the doubles matches], but we have to be able to bounce back better than we did today.”
Doverspike and Botha were the only Tide players to win in their singles matches. Botha defeated James Chaudry 2-6, 7-5, 6-1. After losing the first set, Doverspike defeated George Coupland 4-6, 7-6, 1-0. There were two tiebreaker sets played in the match, one during the second set and one after Mississippi clinched the match with an Artem Ilyushin victory over Daniil Proskura. Pate said Doverspike’s victoy over Coupland was a good win over a really good player and was also a confidence booster.
Sunday's game was the Tide's last home game of the season and senior night for Walston. He finished his career with more than 80 wins and was a recipient of several different SEC awards.
The Tide will head to UAB on Wednesday before ending the conference and regular season at Auburn. “We really got to get focused on beating UAB on Wednesday and then get ready for Auburn on Saturday to give us an opportunity to make it to the NCAA tournament,” Walston said. “That’s the important thing.”
Pate said, “We have to regroup and get ready. We’re kind of on the bubble against the blade. We need a win against a good team. We need to be successful on Wednesday and hopefully be successful against Auburn on Saturday.”