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Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Tennis Picks Up A Win at Florence Invitational

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Tennis Team finished in fourth place in the 2023 Florence City Invitational after winning on the opening day of the competition but dropping two matches on Saturday.

On Friday, some inclement weather entered the area, delaying the Bears’ quarterfinal contest against Barton. With the setback, the doubles teams had a slow start against the Bulldogs and fell behind quickly in a 1-0 deficit as the No.1 and No. 2 teams dropped their matches.

Things got better for Lenoir-Rhyne in singles especially when No. 2 singles player Zachary Cox won a first-set tiebreaker and dominated in the second set en route to a 7-6, 6-1 result.

Mattis Selde also took a straight-set victory at the No. 4 spot of the order, squeezing by with two tightly contested sets with a 7-6, 6-4 final.

With No. 1 and No. 3 singles dropping their matches, the back end of the lineup needed to get winning results – and that is what they got.

No. 5 singles Patrik Alvestrand recovered from his first set loss with two convincing set victories to end up on top 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. Meanwhile, No. 6 singles Joel Hummings put on a clinic at the bottom of the order with a dominating 6-0, 6-3 result.

And with the four singles wins, the Bears surpassed their opposition, 4-3, to advance to the tournament semifinal round.

Unfortunately for the Bears, the same magic from Friday night did not carry over into Saturday morning, as they were dealt a 4-0 loss to Mount Olive.

Starting with singles, after being dealt with some intense matches the night before, the bottom of the order struggled to keep up with the opposition.

Selde, Alvestand and Hummings all lost in straight sets with each player not getting more than five games in the entire match. Vadym Rogynskyi was also handed a defeat as he suffered a straight-set defeat.

With the loss, Lenoir-Rhyne was sent to the third-place match as they faced conference opponent, Newberry.

While the Bears put on a better fight in the second match of the day, they were still dealt with a 4-2 loss to end the weekend.

This time starting the match with doubles, both sides were tied at one apiece after Newberry took No. 1 doubles and Lenoir-Rhyne won at No. 2 doubles. Coming down to No. 3 doubles, the hard-fought match went the way of the Wolves in a 7-6 decision.

Playing at No. 2 singles again, Cox closed the weekend out undefeated in singles with his 7-6,6-1 win over Marcel Schomburg. Selde also ended the day on a high note with 6-4, 6-4 victory at No, 5 singles.

The more competitive match brought some better scores out of the Bears compared to their earlier Saturday match, but the Wolves proved to just be too much at times.

Taking straight-set victories at the three, four and six spots of the order, it was enough for Newberry to take the match and kick the Bears down to a fourth-place finish.

Lenoir-Rhyne will return to the court on Saturday, Feb. 11 as they will face off against a recent foe – Mount Olive. This time the Bears will look to put up a better fight at 2 p.m. in Hickory, N.C.