DELAND, Fla. – The Stetson University men’s tennis team defended its home courts Friday, cruising past A-Sun rival Mercer 4-0 at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center. The Hatters took two straight doubles matches to secure a 1-0 lead and then three in a row to begin singles play for the quick four point advantage. With the overall match well in Stetson’s hand, the final two singles matches were called off due to a looming rainstorm in the area.
Stetson saw wins on Friday from Hans Adrian Riseng and Nathan Debut on the No. 2 doubles court, while the nationally ranked No. 78 pair of Chester Espie and Laurynas Antropikas gave their team a 1-0 advantage over the Bears heading into singles play.
“I think our No. 1 and No. 2 doubles showed some great leadership to clinch the point for us,” Associate head coach Christophe Noblet said. “I felt that we carried that momentum toward our singles play and were able to take early leads on most of the courts.”
Those early leads continued to turn into Stetson victories as a 6-2, 6-0 win from Espie on court No. 6, gave way to a 6-2, 6-3 decision for Graham Ball on No. 5. Cahit Kapukiran’s win on court No. 4 (6-2, 6-2) was the fourth and final Hatter victory of the day as Antropikas’ and Debut’s matches on courts No. 2 and 1 were suspended in order to give the Stetson women a chance to take on Mercer before the rains came.
“I want to thank everyone that came to support us today,” Noblet said following the match. “Despite the high chance for rain in the forecast, it was great to see so many Hatter tennis fans coming out to show their support.”
With the win, the Hatters improve to 6-8 overall and 2-2 in A-Sun play. Stetson welcomes in another conference opponent in Kennesaw State, Saturday at Mandy Stoll.
“Tomorrow’s match versus Kennesaw will be another conference battle,” Noblet said. “With a five match win streak under their belt, the Owls bring a lot of confidence with them, but we will be ready.”
The Hatters and Owls begin play at 2 p.m. in DeLand. Live Results will be available for all home matches via gohatters.com. Fans can also follow @StetsonTennis on Twitter and sign up for Hat-Alerts, the athletic department’s official text messaging system for match updates.