ANDERSON, S.C. – After suffering a heart-breaking 5-4 setback to South Atlantic Conference rival Wingate last weekend, Anderson University men’s tennis looks to get back on track when it heads to archrival Erskine on Wednesday. First serve from Due West is slated for 2:30 p.m.
After a grueling week which saw AU take part in five matches, including four South Atlantic Conference contests, the Trojans finished the week with a 3-2 record with wins over conference foes Lincoln Memorial, Lenoir-Rhyne and Catawba. With last week behind them, the Black and Gold enter the mid-week match with EC with an even 7-7 record and a 7-2 mark in conference play.
Three Trojans posted 4-1 singles records for the week, highlighted by freshman Juan Carracedo’s play at the No. 1 position, as he defeated four conference opponents. Carracedo capped off his week with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Wingate’s Neal Towlson for AU’s first point in the singles round against the Bulldogs. This season, Carracedo is 6-3 against SAC opponents.
Senior Danilo Faria (No. 6) and sophomore Inaki Iriberry (No. 5) also went 4-1 for the week, as Faria recorded a perfect 4-0 mark against conference opponents. The senior’s lone loss last week came in three sets against Limestone’s Daniel Lopez, as the Trojans fell to their in-state rival, 6-3. Iriberry won four straight matches before falling to Wingate’s Ryan Forbes, as he enters Wednesday’s match with a 9-5 overall record.
In doubles, Iriberry and sophomore Tomas Passalacqua are a perfect 9-0 against SAC opponents this season. The tandem is 8-2 in their last 10 matches, while adding a 9-8 win over WU’s Filippo Pezzoli and Tyler Schofer on Saturday.
The Flying Fleet
Erskine has fallen on tough times this season, entering Wednesday with a 2-14 overall record and on a three-match losing streak. The Fleet’s last victory came on a Spring Break trip to Hilton Head Island, S.C. when they blanked Washington & Jefferson 9-0 on March 18. Since the win, EC has dropped to nonconference opponent Saint Leo (6-3) and Conference Carolinas members Pfeiffer (5-4) and Limestone (7-2).
Junior Wilson Mathewes comes into the rivalry match with Erskine’s highest win total and only winning record on the year with a 9-7 mark, while splitting time between the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. Projected No. 1 player, junior Jason Harris, is 2-8 in the top position this season. Teammate Jack West has also seen action at No. 1, holding a 1-5 mark as the team’s No. 1.
In doubles, the tandem of Harris and Mathewes is 9-6 for the season with a 4-1 mark in Conference Carolinas. The team is 7-3 in their last 10 matches, but suffered an 8-6 setback against Limestone in their last time out.
Over the last four seasons, Anderson has defeated the Fleet five times, capped off by a 6-3 victory in last year’s regular season finale at Max Grubbs Memorial Courts. With softball’s Cup-clinching win over Erskine on April 3, the Trojans can add on their lead in the Beville Cup standings at 10-2.5.