Men's pairs impress at tournament

The Alabama men’s tennis team showed signs of rebirth capping off a weekend full of victories with an impressive individual showing Sunday at the Crimson Tide Fall Championships.

The Crimson Tide Fall Championships tournament brought out smaller schools from the region as host Alabama looked to improve on their fall season. Tulane, Jackson State, UAB and Middle Tennessee State University were among the schools invited to the tournament.

Head coach George Husack said the competition, though small, posed a challenge for his young team.

“I thought competition was good, and I thought it was solid,” he said. “I think when you have a tournament that forces you to play this format, I don’t think it matters who your opponent is. All the schools were great and brought a different element, and, in some cases, we not only had to battle them, but also battle ourselves, as well.”

The Tide men kicked off the weekend on Friday by securing eight victories in doubles play. Sophomore David Vieyra and junior Daniil Proskura won both of their doubles matches against Tulane and UAB, respectively and advanced early on. Junior Carlos Taborga and sophomore Rens van der Vis also won a pair of their doubles matches against Southern Miss and Furman. They advanced as while redshirt freshman Brian Conlon and sophomore Stuart Kenyon posted wins over West Alabama. Furman and also advanced.

“I think we competed well throughout the weekend,” Husack said. “That’s exactly what we wanted to do, and we got better each match.”

On Saturday, the Tide continued their winning ways, capturing 14 victories. In the doubles final, the Taborga and van der Vis tandem won their draw 8-6 over South Alabama’s Daniel Leitner and Bake Gregor. Teammates Conlon and Kenyon also won their doubles draw final match 8-6 over South Alabama.

In singles Jaryd Botha won both of his matches against MTSU and Tulane and advanced to the finals while teammates Harris Barnard and Van der Vis locked up a match against one another in the finals after winning both of their matches in their bracket.

Husack said he was impressed by his young players throughout the weekend, starting with freshman Becker O’Shaughnessey.

“I think this weekend was a learning weekend for Becker,” he said. “In terms of maturity, he realized when you have opportunities, you have to capitalize on them.”

O’Shaughnessey won his singles match on Sunday, along with teammate Van der Vis, and helped the Tide secure 31 total victories for the entire tournament.

“Sunday’s results were not as plentiful as the other days,” Husack said. “But, overall this weekend, I thought we competed well.”

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