LAWRENCEVILLE, GA–Playing in Georgia Gwinnett College’s first head-to-head competition against an NCAA Division I opponent in any sport, the Grizzly men’s tennis team defeated Tennessee Tech University on Monday at the GGC Tennis Facility by a 6-1 margin, remaining unbeaten on the season.
The fourth-ranked Grizzlies have defeated teams at all three NCAA levels in addition to some of the top NAIA programs this season in reaching 9-0. The Golden Eagles fell to 1-8 with the defeat.
Georgia Gwinnett took the first two doubles matches and won five of six singles matches in straight sets to improve to 4-0 at the GGC Tennis Facility.
Sophomore Matias Hatem and freshman Connor Clements each recorded a doubles and singles win to pace GGC.
“Our guys really stepped up to the challenge today playing a Division I opponent,” said GGC head coach Chase Hodges. “Hernan Hatem stepped in and performed very well and it was a full team effort to collect the victory.”
Playing a Division I doubles format, the Grizzlies earned the lone doubles point by taking matches at No. 2 (M. Hatem/Clements, 8-1) and No. 3 (Nathan de Veer/Luke Morland, 8-3) doubles.
In singles play, the Grizzlies took 11 of the 13 total sets in asserting themselves.
Matias Hatem defeated Alberto Esteban, 6-2, 6-4 at second singles while Clements breezed by Alvaro Cintas, 6-0, 6-0 at fourth singles to give each player two wins on the day.
Erik Moberg took care of Vasily Eremeev, 6-2, 6-1 at third singles while Tony Kostadinov (6-1, 6-2) and Hernan Hatem (6-0, 6-3) rolled in their matches.
Even the lone singles loss nearly went GGC’s way as Bruno Tiberti suffered a tense 6-3, 0-6, 10-8 defeat on the top line.
“Today, we were much better than we were against Kenyon on Saturday (5-4 GGC win) and we look forward to some really tough challenges during our spring break trip,” Hodges added.
The Grizzlies begin a three-match swing on Wednesday at NAIA #25 Coastal Georgia, then take on Div. II #2 Armstrong Atlantic before finishing with SCAD Savannah on Saturday.
Georgia Gwinnett returns home March 25, facing Div. III #9 Middlebury.