Team gains second win of season

Freshman Nicholas Mitric won his singles match, but lost his doubles match with his brother Aleks Mitric. || Taylor McStoots/The News

Freshman Nicholas Mitric won his singles match, but lost his doubles match with his brother Aleks Mitric. || Taylor McStoots/The News

On a roll after their first win of the season against Tennesse State, the Racers defeated the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers on Wednesday for their second win.

The Murray State victory was in sight after sweeping three double matches, earning the team the doubles point.

Head Coach Mel Purcell said he was extremely pleased with the way his team played.

“We won the doubles point; that really helps,” Purcell said. “That way we only have to win three of the six singles matches. I’m really proud of my guys; they always come on the court and keep fighting.”

Despite a slow start to the season, the Racers have been building momentum. Purcell said the biggest challenge has been winning the doubles point. Now that they have two wins under their belt, the team is working towards winnning the next two matches to qualify for championships.

Early into the match the doubles team of junior Adam Taylor and senior Ryan Kennedy won 8-5. No. 2 doubles team seniors Tyler Jeffers and Joao Camara clenched their match 8-4, while No. 3 doubles freshman Nicholas Mitric and sophomore Aleks Mitric lost after a long match 9-7.

“Going into the match I thought it was very winnable,” Jeffers said. “It’s always a pleasure playing Western Kentucky because they are very competitive. It’s nice we’ve been able to come out on top the last few years.”

The Racers were able to defeat the Hilltoppers for the fifth year in a row. The momentum from the doubles win carried over into the singles play; in an almost clean sweep the Racers won five of the six matches.

At No. 3 singles Jeffers was able to close out for the Racers with a three-set thriller. Jeffers won the match 10-2 in a third-set tiebreaker. Taylor, Kennedy, Aleks and Nicholas were all able to win their respective matches as well.

“Overall, I would say our team is developing well,” Jeffers said. “Whether we win or lose, we take something away from the match. Whether it be singles or doubles point, or mentally getting something, or a few players getting something, we always find a little way to take something away from every match.”

With some wins under their belt the Racers are hitting the courts to train hard for a possible third consecutive win of the season against Jacksonville State. Purcell said this confidence will hopefully carry over into the next couple of matches.

The match against Western Kentucky marks the last nonconference play of the season.

Coming up in the schedule are matches against Jacksonville State Saturday and Tennessee Tech Sunday.

Story by Laura Kovarik, Staff writer.