Men’s tennis loses four straight to start season

Sports Editor Chase Glover

The Lions’ men’s tennis team started the season on a four game losing skid. UNA traveled to each of their first four matches against Ole Miss in Oxford (double-header), Alabama in Tuscaloosa and Samford in Birmingham.

The Lions traveled to Oxford Jan. 19 to play the Rebels. The Rebels made the sweet 16 last year in Division I and have garnered attention from the NCAA to be ranked in the latest top 25 rankings per Oracle/ITA Division-I Men’s Rankings.

In the opening match, Ole Miss received the doubles point with wins at the top two positions before winning spots one, four and five in singles play. The two teams started the second match in singles play with the Rebels picking up victories at the one, three, four and five positions.

“Today was a fantastic effort by our guys in our first Division I match against an Ole Miss team that made the Sweet 16 in last year’s NCAA Tournament,” said head coach Brice Bishop. “In the second match, Oscar (Meslin) again played well. Andreas Hansen was in his first set when the match ended. Overall, this was a great way to kick off our season against a great opponent in a fantastic facility.”

UNA dropped a road loss to the Crimson Tide Jan. 21. Alabama men’s tennis team grabbed an early lead in doubles play before winning all six singles matches in a 7-0 home win over North Alabama.

The Tide snagged the early lead with victories at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles, then they had straight-set wins to sweep the Lions.

The Lions traveled to Birmingham Jan. 27 to play the Samford Bulldogs.

Samford grabbed an early lead in doubles play before they secured six straight singles wins to record a 7-0 home victory over the Lions.

Samford won all six singles matches in straight sets, clinching the overall win at No. 5 singles.

Heslin gave UNA the best opportunity to score, he dropped a 6-4, 6-4 decision at the No. 6 position.

With the loss, UNA fell to 0-4 on the season, and Samford improved to 2-2 on the year.