The Stetson men’s tennis team cruised to a 7-0 victory over Georgia Southern in the Hatters’ home opener Sunday afternoon at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center.
“It’s good to get the win,” Stetson associate head coach Christophe Noblet said. “You always want to win as convincingly as possible. It was a great performance given that we haven’t practiced a lot recently with all of the rain. The guys were really strong in the way they handled things”
After dropping the first double match at the number three position, the Hatters battled back to win at number one and number two to earn the doubles point. Senior Hans Adrian Riseng and junior Nathan Debut came back from a 0-3 deficit to win 6-5 (8-6) at number one, while junior Chester Espie and sophomore Simon Julin won by an identical 6-5 (8-6) score at number two.
“The fight in winning two doubles matches in the tie-breaker was really big,” Noblet said. “That showed the guys that they have to pay attention to every point. It can always go either way. I was really proud of the way the guys fought.”
Stetson took that momentum to singles play, winning five out the six first sets. Sophomore Laurynas Antropikas got things started, cruising to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Kyle Hoffman at the number four spot. Julin continued the straight set victories with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Marco Osorio at number three.
Sophomore Cahit Kapukiran clinched the Hatters’ first win of the season with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Albert Codina Sala at number two singles.
With the match already won, Espie made it 5-0 with a tightly contested 6-5 (7-5), 6-5 (11-9) victory over Christian Kerrigan at number five. Debut and freshman Graham Ball completed the sweep for the Hatters, winning a pair of three-set matches at number one and number six, respectively.
“We still have a lot of things to clean up,” Noblet concluded. “We have to make sure that when we’re leading that we have to keep working to win games. We also have to use the next couple of weeks to get our minds and bodies ready for the battles that are coming up.”
Stetson, now 1-1 on the year, will next play at Florida Atlantic on Friday, Feb. 14. The Hatters and the Owls are scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. in Boca Raton.