Illinois State men’s tennis was unable to bring any victories back to Normal over spring break, as the Redbirds fell to South Alabama and Buffalo Thursday and Friday in Gulf Shores, Ala. This brings ISU’s overall record to 5-7.
To start off doubles competition against South Alabama, No. 3 doubles, Muddappa Appanervanda and Rodrigo Oliveira defeated Ger Gruindelingh and Tuki Jacobs, 8-4. Jakub Eisner and Rolando Torrellas lost to Manuel Belda and Quincy Oija, 8-3, in the No. 1 doubles position. Urh Kranjc Domiter and Dylan Steffens fell to Daniel Leithner and Juan Troglia, 8-4, in the No. 2 doubles.
The Redbirds stepped up their game during singles action as Torrellas and Oliveira defeated their opponents and moved to .500 on the season. In No. 5 singles, Torrellas claimed victory in a tie-breaker, 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 and Oliveira dominated over Olij, 6-2, 6-1, in No. 6 singles.
Appanervanda fell to Belda, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, in No. 3 singles, while Domiter was bested by Gruindelingh, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, in No. 4 singles. Eisner lost to Leitner in No. 1 singles, 6-2, 6-3 and Wilson was defeated, 6-0, 4-6, 6-2, in No. 2 singles.
“[Thursday] was tough on the guys, as we [didn’t get] to prepare as we usually do for the matches,” ISU head coach Mark Klysner said.
During doubles action against Buffalo, duo Torrellas and Eisner took down Damien David and Akhil Metha, 8-4. The rest of the ’Birds struggled to find success during doubles play, as No. 2 doubles Kranjc Domiter and Steffens fell to Jonathan Hannestad and Sergio Arevalillo, 8-7. No. 3 doubles partners Appanervanda and Oliveira lost to Sebastian Ionescu and Yevgeniy Jason Shkodinik, 8-5.
Singles play did not prove to be much differently than doubles. In No. 5 singles, Torrellas defeated Matha, 7-5, 6-4. Jacob Wilson faced David and fell 6-2, 6-3, in No. 1 singles. In No. 2 singles, Eisner was bested by Ionescu, 7-5, 6-2, while Appanervanda was beat by Jonathan Hannestad, 6-2, 6-2, in No. 3 singles. Kranjc Domiter fell to Arevalillo, 7-5, 6-4, in No. 4 singles, and Oliveira was taken down by Shkodnik in a third-set tie-breaker, 6-7, 6-3, 10-4, in No. 6 singles.
“[Friday] was another tough day for us, as we suffered a couple of injuries,” Klysner said. “Credit goes to Buffalo in playing better today. We’ll try and rest and heal up in the next few days and get ready for our next string of matches.”
The Redbirds will take a break this weekend and will return to play on the road March 28-30 at the Middle Tennessee Shootout in Murfreesboro, Tenn.