Men’s tennis upsets ranked opponent, women’s team struggles

Graduate student Benji Poire celebrates a score against Martin Methodist at the UNA tennis complex Feb. 15. Poire and the UNA men’s tennis team pulled an upset over the No. 16 Cameron Aggies with a 4-3 final in Florence March 11.

The North Alabama men’s tennis team pulled an upset Saturday, as it edged No. 16 Cameron 4-3 in Florence, while the women’s team fell to Cameron 4-1.

UNA stumbled early in men’s action after losing its first two points in doubles matches, but would later storm back in singles to gain a win over the nationally ranked opponent.

Lions head tennis coach Brice Bishop said while many might label the UNA men (5-2) as the underdog, he knew the Lions could compete and pull out a victory.

“We didn’t look at it as an upset,” Bishop said. “We thought if we could make this a physical match, we would win. That’s exactly what we did to win.”

UNA and Cameron played DI rules in the match with two wins in doubles counting as one point overall. Cameron swept the Lions in doubles by scores of 6-2 and 6-0.

The Lions got three-set wins from senior Max Druppel, graduate student Benji Poire and junior Ray Donavon to even the match. Freshman George Markos won in two-sets with a 6-4 and 6-3 win.

Cameron took two singles matches, but it was not enough as the Lions prevailed and took the match.

The North Alabama women’s team (4-3) struggled in its contest with Cameron, as UNA dropped two of its three doubles matchups to fall behind early.

While sophomore Claire Degeorge and freshman Nina Linke won their doubles match 6-1, the Lions lost the other two doubles matches to give Cameron the lead at 1-0.

Linke moved up to the one-seed for the Lions and won in two sets, 6-4 and 6-3.

UNA’s women could not replicate Linke’s success as the Lions dropped three other singles matches.

Both teams will travel to Rome, Georgia, to face Gulf South Conference foe Shorter March 17. The men’s team is riding a four-game winning streak, while the women’s team will look to bounce back after dropping two straight matches.