Valdosta Daily Times

March 4, 2013

VSU tennis teams fall to highly ranked opponents

Christian Malone
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State’s men’s tennis team dropped a pair of matches against teams ranked in the top four in the nation this weekend.

The Blazers fell 7-2 to No. 3 Lynn on Friday and 7-2 to No. 4 Barry on Saturday.

Against Lynn, the Blazers’ wins came at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles. VSU’s top doubles team, Konstantin Kutschenko and Mario Navarro, defeated Lynn’s Pavel Mohja and Max Kouyate 9-8 (8-3). The 11th-ranked Kutschenko topped No. 17 Vlad Cirla 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 1 singles match.

Kutschenko and Navarro also won their doubles match against Barry on Saturday. They defeated the second-ranked doubles team of Marco Mokrzycki and Fabian Groetsch 9-8 (8-3) at No. 1 doubles. In the No. 2 singles match, Joachim Schemm topped the 16th-ranked Groetsch 7-5, 7-5.

The Blazers’ record is only 2-6 this year, but five of those six losses have come to teams ranked in the top 25 in Division II, and three of them have come to teams ranked in the top four. VSU has lost to No. 2 West Florida, No. 3 Lynn, No. 4 Barry, No. 18 Georgia College and No. 23 South Carolina-Aiken. The 24th-ranked Blazers also have a win over No. 39 West Alabama.

They will play five more ranked teams — No. 1 Armstrong Atlantic State, No. 7 Columbus State, No. 15 Saint Leo, No. 16 Concordia College (N.Y.) and No. 42 Delta State — later this season.

Valdosta State’s women’s tennis team also lost to a pair of highly-ranked opponents. The Lady Blazers fell 8-1 to No. 8 Lynn on Friday and 5-0 to No. 4 Barry on Saturday.

Jennifer Rink earned Valdosta State’s lone win of the weekend. The freshman from Hildeshiem, Germany defeated Alina Jane 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 10-8 at No. 3 singles Friday.

Saturday’s match was stopped after five points due to extreme cold in the Valdosta area.

Valdosta State’s women fell to 4-4 on the year. All four of the Lady Blazers’ losses have come to teams ranked in the top 20. They have also lost to No. 10 West Florida and No. 18 Georgia College. They will face No. 1 Armstrong Atlantic State, No. 2 BYU-Hawaii, No. 6 Columbus State, No. 7 Saint Leo and No. 44 Concordia later this season.

Valdosta State returns to the tennis courts on Tuesday, when it hosts Columbus State at 2 p.m. at the VSU Tennis Courts. Columbus State’s women are ranked sixth in Division II, while the CSU men are ranked seventh.