KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - - The Belmont Bruins men's tennis team have just finished their first day of the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships at the Goodfriend Tennis Center in Knoxville, Tenn., which included the 128-player singles draw and the 64-team doubles draw.
Belmont competed with six players in the singles draw and three teams in the doubles draw. They won two out of the six matches in singles and two out of three in the doubles matches.
As far as fall tournaments go, OVC Coach of the Year, Mauricio Antun, wanted to make sure that this tournament was circled on all of the players calendars, as the Big 10, ACC, and SEC are among the conferences being represented in this tournament.
"This weekend is a big one for us," said Antun. "Every year the ITA Regionals is our main tournament in the fall, so we always look forward to play it. A lot of the ACC and SEC schools in our region are in this tournament as well, so we will have very tough competition, but I expect us to compete well and get as many wins as we can."
In singles play in the round of 128, junior Hendrik Inno, and sophomore Marko Ilic moved into the round of 64, while sophomore Jake Briggs, junior Adam Rudowski, and seniors Zak Khan and Joan Vally moved into the consolation bracket for Friday.
Hendrik Inno, who was ranked 8th in the tournament field, got the upper hand against his opponent and didn't let up. He beat junior Marshall Sullivan of the University of Memphis in two straight sets (6-2, 6-4). He will face off against sophomore Riku Kubota of Tennessee Tech for the round of 64.
Marko Ilic had a couple of tough sets, but he was able to escape his opponent winning in two sets. He defeated junior Spencer Richey in two close sets (6-4, 7-5). He will take on junior Cesar Bourgois of Kentucky for the round of 64.
The round of 64 will begin at 9:30 a.m., and the round of 32 will begin at noon on Friday. Consolation round of 64 will begin at 9:30 a.m. as well.
In this first to 8 games set, the ninth ranked duo in the tournament, Inno/Ilic, were able to take care of business in their match, as they defeated Budiono/Bailey of IUPUI 8-3. Inno/Ilic will be taking on Rodriguez/Hyatt of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for the round of 32.
Valy/Briggs had a little bit of a tougher match against the ETSU duo, O'Shannessy/Miyamoto, but were able to defeat them 8-5. They will be facing the fifth ranked duo of the tournament, Saborio/Bennett, of Purdue.
Round of 32 will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Friday.