Men’s tennis loses close match to Alabama 4-3

Steven Lyles
Features Editor

 

The men’s tennis team (14-4) put up a good fight Wednesday night but could not close out the Crimson Tide (10-13) after losing the doubles point to start off the match.

After honoring seniors Carson Kadi of New Orleans, La., Ryan Shidler of Cincinatti, Ohio, and Mark Lange of Alpharetta, Ga., the Bulldogs began the long match against Alabama.

The five and a half hour match went late into the night following an hour and a half of intense doubles competition viewed by a large crowd of supporters. Sophomore Elliot Barnwell and Shidler were the main attraction during the doubles match as they fought hard until falling short at the end 9-8.

In singles competition, junior sports medicine major Zac Dunkle defeated Jarryd Botha of Alabama 6-4 and 6-3. Barnwell also won his singles match, defeating Vikram Reddy 7-6 and 6-4.

Barnwell is a transfer from Middle Tennessee who hails from the United Kingdom. Kadi fell to the Crimson Tide’s Daniil Proskura. Kadi looks to return to form heading into the SoCon Tournament.

“This year we’re more of a team, almost like a family, we’re not 8 guys out there we’re one unit,” Kadi said.

“We’ve had a lot of success doing our normal routine, so if we just keep doing what we’re doing we should do well in conference.”

The Bulldogs, who are led by first year head coach Rahim Esmail, are looking to continue their excellent play as they head to Charleston, S.C. for the conference tournament next week sporting an impressive 7-1 conference record.

“We’ve been really focusing on our work ethic, really going out there to get the job done, the way we’ve won a lot of matches the way we have is because we go after it and put the work into win,” Esmail said. “The guys are well prepared (for conference) and have enjoyed the process of getting better as a team.”

The reigning SoCon champions will look to repeat after visiting Chattanooga today in the last regular season matchup. The match against the Mocs begins at 2 p.m. CDT.

 

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