TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Mercer's men's tennis team opened the 2019 season Thursday by splitting a pair of matches in Tallahassee, Fla. The Bears claimed a 4-0 shutout victory over Florida A&M in the season opener before falling 7-0 to 20th ranked Florida State in the second match of the day.
The Bears gained early momentum against Florida A&M, sweeping the doubles competition with ease to earn a 1-0 lead. The No. 1 pairing of Olivier Stuart and Nico Guillon topped Skoromnyy and Espinoza, 7-5. On court No. 2, Stathis Tsiranidis and Piyush Salekar defeated Hayden and Sturgis, 6-2.
Mercer continued to show their stuff, taking courts No. 2, 3, and 4 in straight sets. The Bears' No. 4 slotted Carver Arant stretched the lead as he cruised past Sturgis, 6-0, 6-1. Court No. 3 saw Tsurandis best Hayden, 6-0, 6-1. The match was clinched as No. 2 seeded Guillon downed Espinoza, 6-1, 6-1.
In the day's second match, Mercer fell 7-0 to the 20th-ranked Florida State Seminoles. The Seminoles jumped out to an early 2-0 lead by sweeping the doubles matches, winning 6-0, 4-1 and 6-0. In singles competition, the Bears battled hard against the nationally ranked FSU squad. At No. 1 singles, Stuart gave Alex Knaff all he could handle before falling 7-6, 1-6, 0-1 (3-10). FSU's Richard Thongoana defeated Guillon 6-3, 6-3; Rana Roop Bhullar defeated Mercer's Tsiranidis 6-3, 7-6 (16-14); while Enzo Le Seguillon bested Mercer's Arant 6-3, 6-1. The Seminoles' Chase Wood defeated the Bears' Salekar 6-0, 6-1 and FSU's Bry Nahrung edged Jimmy Emslie 7-5, 6-2.
Mercer returns to the court Tuesday, Jan. 15 when the Bears travel to the Sooner State to take on the University of Tulsa. Start time for the match is 12 p.m. (ET).