Freshman Szymon Opieczonek won in both singles and doubles against Vincennes.
March 24, 2012
By Tyler Wooten
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- NOTE: Vincennes University was notified by the NJCAA that an ineligible student-athlete (Josh Barrenechea) was permitted to participate in this match. Because of this action, Vincennes forfeit this match, effective April 23, 2012.
The Saluki men's tennis team could not get anything going against Vincennes University on Saturday at University Courts, losing to the Trailblazers, 6-1.
Vincennes (12-3), a junior college powerhouse ranked No. 3 overall in the NJCAA tennis rankings, extended its current winning streak to 11 matches with the victory over the Salukis (4-7, 0-0 MVC). The Trailblazers dominated singles, especially positions two through five where they yielded four games only once.
The lone Saluki match-point came courtesy of freshman Szymon Opieczonek, who won in both singles and doubles. Opieczonek defeated VU's Edward Spilman, 6-4, 4-6, 10-3, at No. 6 singles, and he -- along with junior Orhan Spahic-- won at No. 3 doubles against VU's Spilman and Rafael Bulnes, 8-5.
This marks the second straight year the Salukis have fallen to the Trailblazers. Last year, Southern lost 4-3 in heartbreaking fashion in doubles, having split singles three matches apiece.
"Vincennes is a strong team," said head coach Dann Nelson. "There's a reason they're nationally ranked. They lost a lot of players from last year, but they just reloaded."
The loss also brings Southern to 2-2 at home on the dual match season where they have been historically successful with Nelson at the helm. A Nelson coached Saluki team has never lost more than four matches at home in a single season.
"For me, I don't think that we were prepared enough for today to battle a tough team," Nelson said. "We just didn't bring our game today. We need to change a few things in practice and hopefully we can do that soon."
1. (FORFEIT) Josh Barrenechea/Erick Bermudez (VU) def. Badr Cherradi/Stanislas Rodier (SIU) 8-2
2. Jose Luis Soto/Jose Andres Zaatini (VU) def. Martijn Admiraal/Brandon Florez (SIU) 8-3
3. Szymon Opieczonek/Orhan Spahic (SIU) def. Rafael Bulnes/Edward Spilman (VU) 8-5