The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s tennis team hosts two Southern Conference matches this weekend. The Mocs welcome Furman on Saturday, March 23, and Mercer on Sunday, March 24.
First serve for both matches is set for 1:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) at the UTC Tennis Center. Admission is always FREE, so come on out and catch some great collegiate tennis action this weekend. For those that can’t make it, live scoring links are available on the men’s tennis schedule page on GoMocs.com.
Chattanooga is 10-7 overall and 1-0 in SoCon duals after Sunday’s 5-2 win at The Citadel. The Mocs have posted 10 wins for the first time since going 12-9 in 2013. Chattanooga has not scored two league wins in a season since posting a 2-9 mark in 2014.
Junior Niklas Gerdes leads the Mocs with a 12-5 record at No. 1 in the spring. He is 16-8 overall and has won 12 of his last 15. Freshman Tomas Rodriguez is on a 10-match tear and is 13-4 at No. 2 singles. He and Gerdes make up the No. 2 doubles tandem and are 12-2 in the spring.
“We are looking forward to hosting back-to-back home weekends, against arguably the best four teams in the SoCon,” stated head coach Chuck Merzbacher. “We are excited that these important matches are at home.”
Furman brings a 10-3 overall record and a 3-0 mark in league action. They have won nine in a row and take on ETSU on Friday in Johnson City, Tenn., before visiting UTC.
The Mocs are trying to snap a 16-match slide to the Paladins. UTC’s last win in the series was a 4-3 victory on April 22, 2005, at the SoCon Tournament in Charleston, S.C. Chattanooga is 13-37 all-time against Furman and has not won a league dual at home since 1989.
“Furman has been traditionally strong throughout the years, and this year is no different,” added Merzbacher. “They are strong at every position. Mercer, always plays a tough schedule and they will be tough from top to bottom in their line-up.
Mercer is 7-9 on the year, dropping its SoCon opener to Wofford (4-3) on March 16. They visit The Citadel on Friday in Charleston, before coming to Chattanooga on Sunday.
UTC is 3-5 all-time against the Bears. Chattanooga has lost five in a row and its last win against the Bears was a 6-1 victory on March 4, 2008.
“Both matches this weekend, the doubles point and being at home, can make a huge difference,” said Merzbacher. “I know our guys have worked hard to be where we are coming into the important stretch of the season and they are ready for the challenge.”