Men’s tennis suffers first loss of season to Dartmouth


CW / Austin Bigoney

Nick Robbins, Contributing Writer

Alabama men’s tennis picked up its first loss of the season Friday night at home to Dartmouth, falling 4-3 to the the Ivy League school.

The clinching match was a long singles match between senior Alexey Nesterov and Dartmouth junior Peter Conklin, which Conklin won 6-3, 3-6, 4-6. Nesterov jumped out to an early lead before Conklin battled back.

“Alexey adjusted in his match to give himself a chance to win the match in the third set,” coach George Husack said.

Senior Zhe Zhou and juniors Patrick Kaukovalta and Jeremy Gschwendtner won their singles matches. Zhou won his 7-5, 6-1 and Gschwendtner also won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. Kaukovalta won his match in three sets after dropping the first set, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Senior Edson Ortiz and junior Riccardo Roberto both lost their matches. Ortiz lost 4-6, 4-6. Roberto struggled throughout the night dropping his match 2-6, 3-6.

Alabama fought hard to finish 3-3 in singles after finding itself down 2-0 early on.

“Sometimes you get a lead, you got your foot on the throttle and you ease off,” Husack said. “I think that’s what bit us here.”

In doubles play Dartmouth picked up the lone point available after winning two of the matches.

Kaukovalta/Ortiz lost their match 3-6 while Nesterov/Roberto lost their match 4-6.

Freshman Marcelo Sepulveda Garza and Zhou won their match 5-4. The match was unfinished as Dartmouth had already won two matches to clinch the doubles point.

“It started in doubles; I didn’t think we executed very well with our returns,” Husack said. “We had some tough matches in singles, and they outplayed us.”

Alabama plays again on Sunday, hosting Virginia Tech.

“It’s disappointing to lose a match like this,” Husack said. “I think the guys will respond well on Sunday.”