MTSU Tennis Comes out of Gates Swinging

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The bottom half of head coach Jimmy Borendame’s lineup shined as Middle Tennessee’s men’s tennis team picked up two wins in dominant fashion at the Adams Tennis Complex to start the dual match season.

MT opened up the day by sweeping Chattanooga, 7-0. Max Rauch teamed up with Luis Morillo Diaz at No. 3 doubles to cruise to a 6-1 victory, followed by Gonzalo Morell Raschiatore and Tom Moonen at the No. 1 spot, who clinched the first point in the match by winning their doubles match by a score of 6-3.

In singles play, the Mocs fought hard at the top four spots in the lineup, but the Blue Raiders were able to hang on to their leads, winning all six singles matches in straight sets. Gian Issa was first to finish in singles with a score of 6-1, 6-1 at No. 6, followed by Rauch, who notched his first dual match singles win in his career, at No. 5 by a score of 6-0, 6-1.

“If you look at the teams we’re trying to compete with, Gian and Max at No. 5 and 6 provide great depth,” MT assistant coach Daniel Leitner said. “That’s something we focus on in recruiting and in practice, so I’m happy when they play well.”

The Blue Raiders completed their day on the courts by taking down Tennessee State, 6-1.

The No. 2 doubles pair from TSU won their match by a score of 6-3, but Issa and Miguel Negre Fernandez were dominant at the No. 3 spot, winning 6-2. Morell and Moonen again clinched the doubles point by winning 6-3 at the top doubles spot.

“They’ve been playing pretty good all week in practice,” Leitner said of Morell and Moonen. “That pair has Tom’s explosivness with Gonzalo’s consistency. They find a way to make good plays.”

Morell and Moonen were first to finish in singles play against the Tigers, both winning handily at the top spots in the lineup. Rauch pulled away late in his first set to take an early lead in his match, but cruised through the second on his way to a 7-5, 6-1 win at No. 5, clinching the Blue Raiders’ second team victory of the season.

Issa and Morillo also earned wins over their opponents from TSU, to make the final score 6-1 after the Tigers won on court four.

“[Morillo] had a great fall, but coming into today in the first match he had some nerves, but he figured it out pretty quickly, stuck to what he’s good at, and just like always kept competing,” Leitner added.

The Blue Raiders will travel to Vanderbilt Friday afternoon before returning to the Adams Tennis Complex Saturday at 1 p.m. to face Penn.