UNA’s nine-match winning streak comes to end with loss to Valdosta State

UNA's Miguel Garcia

UNA’s Miguel Garcia

PENSACOLA, Fla., – The University of North Alabama men’s tennis team’s nine-match winning streak came to a close with a 5-3 setback against No. 8 Valdosta State Sunday in Pensacola. The Blazers rallied from a 2-1 deficit, then broke a 3-3 tie with two straight wins in singles play to secure the win.

With the loss, UNA falls to 10-3 on the season and ends GSC play with a 7-2 mark. The Lions also clinch the No. 3 seed in the upcoming GSC tournament and will open the postseason against sixth-seeded Lee.

On Sunday, North Alabama let an early lead slip away. Miguel Garcia and Taylor Ausbon raced out to a 4-1 lead and held on for a 8-4 win at No. 3 doubles to start the scoring. After VSU evened the match with a win at No. 2 doubles, Guillaume Dechoz and Brendon Millington-Herrmann gave the Lions a 2-1 lead with an 8-5 win at the top doubles spot.

Down 2-1, Valdosta State picked up two points winning at No. 6 and No. 1 singles. The Lions evened the match at 3-3 when Garcia posted an impressive 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 3 singles.

After the Blazers won at No. 2 singles to take a 4-3 lead, UNA stayed alive by forcing a third set in the final two matches. VSU, however, clinched the match with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win at No. 4 singles. With the match decided, No. 5 singles was stopped in progress.

“I liked how we came out early today,” said UNA head tennis coach Brice Bishop. “We were ready to play and it showed. You have to give Valdosta credit for being able to win some close matches in the end. I’m very proud of our guys. They laid it on the line today and just came up a bit short.”

UNA is scheduled to play at Tuskegee on Wednesday at 1 p.m., with a match at Alabama A&M slated for the same time the following day.

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