DELAND - Florida Southern opened its 2016 spring men's tennis season here Friday afternoon with a hard-fought 6-1 setback against NCAA Division I foe Stetson University at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center on the Stetson campus.
The Moccasins, who were playing their first dual meet of the spring season, opened the match by falling in all three doubles matches, including losing both the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles matches in tiebreakers to help give Stetson the doubles point. Friday's match was played by Division I rules as the three doubles matches counted as one point and a team must win 2-of-3 matches to earn the point.
At the No. 1 doubles spot, sophomore Miguel Alvarez-Hevia (Asturias, Spain) and junior Laurent Mailloux (Montreal, Canada) lost 7-6 (7-2) to Stetson's No. 1 team of Laurynas Antropikas and Loic Blanco, while its No. 3 team of junior Fabian Lundberg (Akersberga, Sweden) and freshman Oscar Soderlund (Lerum, Sweden) fell 7-6 (7-3) at the No. 3 spot to the Hatters tandem of Graham Ball and Gonzalo Arroyo.
Meanwhile, in singles action, the Mocs picked up its only point of the match at the No. 4 spot in the line-up as de Sario posted a 7-6, 6-3 win over Antropikas.
Despite losing the other five singles matches, the Mocs gave Stetson all it could handle as FSC took a combined 29 games in four of the five singles matches, including Lundberg falling 6-4, 7-5 at the No. 1 spot to Blanco, Mailloux falling 6-2, 7-5 at the No. 3 spot to Ball and Viallaneix falling 7-5, 6-4 at the No. 6 spot to Coilin MacNamara.
At the No. 2 spot, Alvarez-Hevia fell by identical 6-2, 6-2 scores to Pierre Fossier and sophomore Brian Slivonik (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) dropped a 6-2, 6-0 decision at the No. 5 spot to Simon Julin.
Blanco's win at No. 1 sealed the victory for the Hatters, who improved to 2-2 on the season. Blanco's win gave the Hatters its fourth point of the match.
"We had many opportunities that were squandered. We have some kinks to iron out, but I was pleased by how we played today," Moccasin head coach Trey Heath said. "Our doubles play was really solid and several of our players had opportunities in singles, but they didn't capitalize on them."
It is the second consecutive season that the Mocs have opened its spring campaign against the Hatters as they fell 7-0 to Stetson in last season's spring opener that was held on Super Bowl Sunday.
The Mocs will return to the court in a little less than 24 hours as they open the home portion of its spring schedule on Saturday, Feb. 6 against Flagler. Saturday's match is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the Wynee Warden Tennis Center on the Florida Southern campus.