The Stetson men’s tennis team started strong and held on for a 4-3 home victory against visiting Appalachian State Wednesday afternoon at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center.
“It was a good win for us, especially with the windy conditions,” Stetson associate head coach Christophe Noblet said. “We came to play tennis today. We didn’t complain about the weather. It was a good Appalachian State team, and I’m glad we came out on top.”
Every time the Hatters (4-5) have won the doubles point this season, they’ve gone on to win the match. That was no different on Wednesday as Stetson won two out of three doubles matches to earn the first points of the contest.
All three doubles came down to the wire, but after Appalachian State (4-4) won 8-7 (4) at number three, senior Hans Adrian Riseng and junior Nathan Debut won 8-7 (5) at number one to tie things up at 1-1. Junior Chester Espie and sophomore Laurynas Antropikas then won 8-6 at number two to secure the early advantage for the Hatters.
“Everybody knows that the doubles point is extremely important,” said Noblet. “When you know you’re playing a good team, having that additional point to start with makes a heck of a difference. Getting the point today ended up being the deciding factor.”
Stetson took a commanding 3-0 lead after a pair of singles wins by Espie and freshman Graham Ball. Espie cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win at number four, while Ball won 6-1, 6-4 at the number five position.
After App State’s Sebastien King topped Debut 6-4, 6-4 at number one, Stetson sophomore Cahit Kapukiran won 6-2, 6-4 at number three to clinch the victory for the Hatters at 4-1.
The Mountaineers won the final two matches at number six and number two, but Noblet was pleased with his team’s enthusiasm down the stretch.
“The chemistry we had at the end was special,” Noblet said. “That type of chemistry will help us leading into conference play. What I saw today out of the guys, cheering for their teammates on the final courts, it makes a difference.”
The Hatters will begin conference play this weekend, heading on the road to take on USC Upstate and ETSU. Stetson will challenge the Spartans on Friday at 2:00 p.m. and then take on the Bucs Saturday at 2:00 p.m.