NASHVILLE - Austin Peay State University men's tennis team was upset by Eastern Kentucky, 4-2, in second-round action at the Ohio Valley Conference Men's Tennis Tournament, Saturday, at Nashville's Centennial Park.
"Eastern Kentucky is an experienced team," head coach Malik Tabet said. "We didn't play well in doubles and let it carry over into singles. Our nerves caught up with us; something EKU didn't have to deal with."
A slow start in doubles dictated the match for Austin Peay. Weather led to a delayed start and doubles was ultimately pushed inside. The Govs lost the top two doubles matches, while the third match was stopped unfinished.
Losing the doubles point meant the Govs would need four singles matches to advance. Junior Sean Bailey was shaky at the start, dropping the first set at No. 1 singles. Sophomore Jasmin Ademovic started slow at No. 2, but got on track to win in straight sets and give the Govs their first point.
The Govs took a 2-1 lead after freshman Dimitar Ristovksi won in straight-sets at No. 3. Meanwhile, freshman Aleksas Tverijonas lost his first set at No. 4, but came back to win the second. Eastern Kentucky won at No. 6 and pushed freshman Michal Hriciste to a third set at No. 5.
Despite taking the Govs taking both matches to three sets, Eastern Kentucky would end up winning at Nos. 1 and 4, with Parul Verma's win at No. 4 deciding the match. Oddly enough in the regular season, it was Tverijonas who defeated Verma in the Govs win at EKU.
"We lacked continuity in our focus," Tabet said. "We played well, but with more match experience we can only get better. With everyone coming back and a full fall season to work, it's encouraging."
The loss brings an end to another strong season by Austin Peay, but leaves a hopeful outlook for the future as all seven players are slated to return for 2012-13.