The Chattanooga Mocs men’s tennis team and its five representatives opened play at the ITA All-American Championships on Saturday and battled in five tough matches during the prequalifying singles round at the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“We played some great matches. There were some very close matches, and although we did not pull out a win, we played well and the level was super high,” said head coach Chuck Merzbacher.
“The guys will have a chance in the consolation matches to get more competition.”
Simon Labbe fell by a 6-2, 6-3 count to Julian Steinhausen of SMU while freshman Kirstof Kinsces fell by a tight 6-3, 6-4 margin to Arizona State’s Jacob Bullard.
Newcomer Gabriel Castillo went three sets with Roni Hietaranta of Nebraska, but ultimately fell 1-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Peyton Gatti also found himself in a very tightknit battle with Arizona State’s Spencer Brachman after playing to a 7-6 (5), 6-3 decision in favor of Brachman. Kerim Hyatt rounded out the UTC lineup with another close match, dropping a 7-5, 7-6 (4) contest to Mississippi State’s Charles Hernandez.
All five Mocs will compete in Sunday’s prequalifying consolation rounds. The matchups can be found below.
Peyton Gatti (UTC) vs. Nam Pham (ILS)
Kirstof Kinsces (UTC) vs. Callum Rendle (WOF)
Gabriel Castillo (UTC) vs. Bautista Villicich (UTA)
Simon Labbe (UTC) vs. Callaway Clark (SMU)
Kerim Hyatt (UTC) vs. Blaine Hovenier (SMU)