Tusculum splits two matches to open spring schedule

Tusculum splits two matches to open spring schedule

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. --- The Tusculum College men's tennis team opened its 2017 spring schedule on Saturday with two matches on the campus of Georgia Gwinnett College. The Pioneers fell 5-0 to the three-time defending NAIA national champion host Grizzlies, before defeating the University of West Alabama by a 5-3 score.

The Pioneers (3-1) will return to action Sunday at 18th-ranked North Georgia, in a match scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

Georgia Gwinnett 5, Tusculum 0
The Grizzlies (6-0) won their 38th consecutive dual match with the sweep of the Pioneers. Tusculum fell behind 3-0 in singles, and dropped their first two singles results to enable the Grizzlies to clinch the win. The Pioneer doubles team of Tomas Kmetko and Toby de Klerk faced the top-ranked doubles team in the NAIA in Kevin Konfederak and Jordan Cox, and fell by a score of 8-2.

Tusculum 5, West Alabama 3
The Pioneers took a 2-1 lead in doubles and won three of five singles matches to clinch the victory over the Tigers (0-2). In doubles, Kmetko and de Klerk defeated Julius Kaverinen and Henrik Sinkko 8-6 at flight one, while Tashique Kader and Leon Seiz teamed for an 8-4 victory over Christopher Wood and Andrii Stratiienko at flight two.

In singles, Kmetko was a 6-2, 6-3 winner over Kaverinen at flight one, de Klerk downed Sinkko 6-4, 6-1 at flight three, and Yago Fernandez won in three sets over Wood 4-6, 6-3, 6-2