Mobile, AL – The Emmanuel Men's Tennis Team traveled to Mobile, AL for the last event of the year, the NCCAA National Tournament.
With several tough opponents, EC players knew ahead of time the challenge they will be facing. But without holding back, Emmanuel produced an incredible level today.
The #3 Dallas Baptist University Patriots was the first opponent of the Lions in the opening day. At the start of doubles, Emmanuel was serious in getting important points to help them in singles play. On court #3, Canadas/Pereira were looking to strong and with a solid serve and return, the Lions raced for a quick 8-1. Not too long after, Jarry/Sasaki were also producing some great doubles shots and after getting a break early in the match the Lions were just on point and facing no major issues in grabbing an 8-4 victory. On court #1 Romero/Alcacer had to battle for a long time in a match full of opportunities for both sides. The Lions were able to break the Patriots serve for a 3-2 lead and eventually serving at 6-5 but EC saw some great returns from DBU, pushing the match to 6-6. The Lions did not drop their intensity and in no time, Emmanuel won the last possible doubles point by 8-6.
In singles play, Emmanuel only needed two more wins because of the very comfortable 3-0 lead after doubles. The first point came from the Junior Enrique Alcacer on court #6, who fired several bombs from the back of the line throughout the match, giving no chances for his foe to win by a crushing 6-0 6-0. The clincher came from the sophomore Lucas Sasaki on court #4, who was showing some great defensive play and with a combination of serve and volley at the right moments, Sasaki gave Emmanuel the first win of the tournament with a solid 6-4 6-3 score.
After a lunch break, Emmanuel had to come back to the courts once again today to face #2 Indiana Wesleyan.
Just like before, the match kicked off in doubles action. With all the matches looking really close, but the first doubles team to step up for the occasion was on court #3 with Canadas / Pereira. The EC duo had the opportunity early in the match to break the serve by producing some quality level of tennis and they only got better as the match went on to get a first point of the even by 8-4. The Wildcats kicked back with a pair of wins in doubles, especially in a tight contest on court #1 where EC dropped a handful of match points.
With a 2-1 deficit after doubles, Emmanuel needed to fight hard to get the win this afternoon. Everything started to look better at the hands of the Sophomore Jorge Canadas on court #5, who was looking strong from the back of the court but mixing slices and drop shots through the match, the Spaniard proved to be a tough opponent to be beaten and after just over an hour he tied the event with a convincing 6-0 6-2 win. A fellow countryman of Canada's followed his teammates footsteps and after firing fast forehands and quick approaches to the net, Enrique Alcacer was just too solid overall, and his level increased even more on the second set. Alcacer gave Emmanuel the lead with a 6-2 6-1 victory on court #6. The Lions stretched the lead even further with a smart win on court #1 by the hands of the freshman Tom Jarry. After a closer first set, Tom shift gears by speeding up the ball on exchanges and reduced the reaction time for his opponent who ended up with no answers in the second set. Jarry put the Lions one win away from clinching the overall match with a 6-4 6-1 win. The last point of the day was on court #4 with Lucas Sasaki. And it was a true fight from both sides with players exchanging service breaks in the first set, which was only decided in a tiebreaker. After leading the set with a break, Lucas saw his opponent raise his level to take a 6-5 lead. Sasaki did not lose his focus and took the match to a tense tie breaker, where the Lions opened a 6-3 advantage before finally closing it by 10-8. The EC player was in motion and kept his foot on the gas pedal on the second set the whole time, with some very smart plays at the key moments to clinch not only the match, by 7-6 6-3, but also the overall event for Emmanuel.
The pair of wins today were extremely important for EC, but the team will be back in action tomorrow morning at 9:30 to face Colorado Christian for a spot in the semifinals!
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