Steven Blythe and Nacho Garcia de Sola opened the 2018 season with a pair of singles victories to lead the Georgia Southwestern State University men's tennis team to a 2-0 start with wins over Christian Brothers University and Shorter University over the weekend. The ladies came up on the short end of a pair of 5-4 scores against the same schools.
GSW returns to action on Thursday with a non-conference match on the road against nationally-ranked Columbus State University at 2 p.m.
GSW MEN 5, CHRISTIAN BROTHERS 4
The Hurricanes (1-0) won four of six singles matches and held on for the win against CBU (0-1) on Friday afternoon as doubles matches were played second in a flip from the typical event schedule. Garcia de Sola and Jonathan Martin completed their sweep with wins in singles and doubles play. The duo cruised to wins on the singles side before pulling out the decisive 9-7 win at No. 3 doubles.
Garcia was a 6-0, 6-1 winner at No. 5 singles and Martin won 6-1, 6-4 at No. 6. Blythe had the most thrilling match of the day in his marathon at No. 3 singles where he perservered 4-6, 7-6 (12-10), 7-6 (9-7). Beau Millwood defeated Andres Calzacorta in a three-setter, 6-2, 5-7, 7-5.
GSW MEN 5, SHORTER 4
GSW took two of three doubles matches on Saturday and, after winning two of five singles matches, the decisive point fell to No. 3 singles where Blythe defeated Malik Yawar, 7-5, 6-2, to give the Hurricanes their first 2-0 start since joining NCAA Division II in 2006-07.
Blythe swept his matches against Shorter (0-1), teaming with Alex Canovas Ferrando for an 8-3 win at No. 1 doubles to open the day. Millwood and Luke Eafano cruised past Caleb Diller and Mason Barnette, 8-1, at No. 3 doubles.
Justin Ralston won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 6 singles in his first match of the season.
GSW WOMEN 4, CHRISTIAN BROTHERS 5
The Lady Hurricanes (1-1) took a 4-2 lead into doubles play, but could not pick up the win they needed to knock off CBU (1-0).
Celia del Castillo was victorious at No. 1 singles for GSW with a 6-4, 6-2 decision over Lauren Woog. Kendall Crew defeated Meg Matttis 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) at No. 4. Anneliese Leahy knocked off Melody Mays 6-1, 6-2 at No. 5 and freshman Alexandria Rhodes went to two tiebreakers in her win over Brittany Weathersby, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (10-8).
GSW WOMEN 4, SHORTER 5
Leahy and Crew finished the weekend undefeated in singles play for GSW (1-2). Leahy coasted to a 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 5 while Crew rallied to take Marina Radinovic to a third set tiebreak at No. 4 where she turned in a gritty 10-8 win.
Shorter (1-0) had to default at No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles due to a lack of available players.