Although Belmont men’s tennis doesn’t compete in the same conference as all of the other Bruin athletic teams, its mindset is no different.
Every match is an opportunity to learn and win.
The Missouri Valley Conference doesn’t sponsor men’s tennis, so Belmont competes in the Horizon League along with 10 other teams.
Hosting nearby Tennessee State University atop the Belmont Tennis Complex, the Bruins handled their new competition with ease, sweeping their way to a 7-0 match victory on Thursday afternoon.
Junior Tomas Luis and sophomore Ian Cruz helped the Bruins start hot on the doubles scene.
The duo handled the Tiger’s tandem of Jonasz Dziopak and Nicholas Adamec 6-1 to secure the first doubles point.
Then, Belmont’s nationally ranked duo of graduate student Marko Illic and junior Riccardo Trione, took the spotlight on court one.
Ranked as the No.76 pair in the nation according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the doubles partners handled Pierre Copin and Nil Moinet 6-2, clinching the doubles point.
As junior Alfred Wallin and sophomore Gabriel Sardo were knotted at five games with Daniel Caraballo and Taj Hibbert, there was no need to finish.
The Bruins had already done their duty in doubles.
Belmont wasted no time in singles action.
Atop the lineup, Illic ousted Moinet 6-3,6-4.
Wallin took on Hibbert at the second spot, defeating the challenging Tiger 6-1, 7-5.
Luis stood in third and defeated Caraballo 6-2, 6-3.
Cruz, who was the first victorious Bruin, handled Copin 6-0, 6-3 at the fourth spot.
The fifth and sixth spots proved to be the toughest matches of the day for Belmont.
Trione showcased a gutsy performance on court five.
After losing his first set against Diego Britt-Alvarez, the Bari, Italy native fought back with a 6-2 win in set two and won an intense super tiebreaker 10-8.
Sardo closed out the successful showing for the Bruins with a pair of high-level sets, winning 6-4 and 7-5 against Adamec on court six.
Belmont improved to 10-5 overall and 1-0 in league play with the win over Tennessee State.
The Bruins will travel to face the University of Southern Indiana on Saturday and Tennessee Tech University on Sunday for their first taste of tennis on the road in the Horizon League.
This article was written by Landen Secrest