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Men’s tennis maintains boulevard possession for fifth straight year


Tomas Luis eyes a backhand swing. Tyra Finkeldey/Belmont Athletics

All Belmont athletic teams share one basic principle:

“Beat Lipscomb.”

A task men’s tennis has done for five years straight.

Starting the season off with an impressive 2-0 record, the Bruins turned their claws to neighbor Lipscomb University.

The battle of the boulevard, as the rivalry has been dubbed across all sport matchups, but this meeting didn’t occur on Belmont Boulevard.

It was the Ensworth Tennis Center 22 minutes away to play host to the epic Bruins vs. Bisons showdown.

Serving as the host for the occasion, Belmont was on a hot streak by shutting out Austin Peay State University in Evansville, Indiana just a day prior.

If the Bruins were tired, they didn’t show it as the squad continued its red-hot momentum into Sunday by dominating the Bisons 6-1.

Doubles

The day started with doubles as Belmont’s Marko Ilic and Riccardo Trione finished early. The pair defeated Carlos Sallas Tulla and Luka Stojanovic 6-2.

Then there was Jack Randall and Alfred Wallin’s 7-5 victory over Lipscomb foes Maksim Bogdanovich and Jake Penny.

But Belmont’s Ian Cruz and Thomas Luis were on the wrong side of the 7-5 score, falling to Henrique Ushizima and Vikash Singh.

Overall, with the two victories, Belmont successfully secured the doubles point before heading into singles play.

Singles

Finishing first in singles was Cruz who achieved the 6-2, 6-0 win over Ushizima at the No. 3 spot.

Next to finish was Luis, at the No. 2 spot, who claimed a 6-2, 6-1 win over Singh.

Trione, No. 4, finished with 2-straight 6-3 wins against Sallas Tulla and Ilic triumphed over Bogdanovich 6-3, 6-1 at the top spot.

But Lipscomb’s Penny shined as he provided the sole Bison point on court No. 5.

Penny defeated junior Niklas von Hellens 6-2, 6-3.

One match left.

Had the scoreboard on the sixth court functioned properly, fans could’ve easily followed the thrilling match between Belmont sophomore Gabriel Sardo and Lipscomb junior Luka Stojanovic.

Failing to disappoint, both players displayed their immense passion for the sport. With a few referee warnings, Sardo and Stojanovic emulated the classic rival spirit into a super tiebreaker.

After winning the opening set 6-4, Sardo was met with resilience as Stojanovic took set two with a 6-4 score of the same.

The match sportively heated towards the end of the second set and into the third.

Stojanovic was warned of hindrance as he allegedly attempted to throw off Sardo’s serve and Sardo was later warned of misconduct by seemingly celebrating towards Stojanovic.

The match resulted in a 10-point tiebreaker as Sardo survived with a 10-8 victory.

Overall, the Bruins dominated Lipscomb, making it their fifth-straight victory over the rival school.

Next up

Belmont stands with an overall 3-0 record as it looks to host the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Sunday at the Ensworth Tennis Center. The first serve is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. This article was written by A.J. Wuest

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