NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Belmont Men's Tennis continued to make strong progress as its fall season winds down. The Bruins played in the four-day ITA Ohio Valley Regionals, hosted by the University of Tennessee at the Goodfriend Tennis Center in Knoxville over the weekend.
BU faced off against players from Ball State, Chattanooga, East Tennessee State, Indiana, IUPUI, Louisville, Memphis, Northern Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Wright State, as well as OVC foes Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky, and Tennessee Tech.
Day one of the event saw freshman Jake Briggs (Marietta, Ga.) advance out of the first round of the main singles draw with a straight set, 6-4, 6-0, victory over Timo Kiesslich of Austin Peay. He battled hard in round two but eventually fell to the No. 17 seeded player out of Eastern Kentucky, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Sophomore Hendrik Inno (Someru, Estonia) forced a third set and was barely held off, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, by a player from Memphis, who was seeded 28th in the tournament. Sophomore Vincent Sterkens (Antwerp, Belgium) faced off against the No. 4 seeded player, Edu Mena, of Tennessee Tech in the opening round. After a close first set, 7-5, he went on to fall, 6-0, to start an upward climb in the consolation bracket.
In doubles action on day one, the pair of Inno and Sterkens edged out a duo from Louisville, 8-7, to advance to the second round. The following day, the Bruin duo picked up a convincing 8-3 win over a pair from Ball State to move on to the quarterfinals on Saturday morning. Sterkens and Inno then squared off against the top seed in the main draw from Vanderbilt but was held off, 8-5.
BU fared well in the consolation bracket, led by strong play from Sterkens. He recorded a straight set victory, 6-4, 6-2, over Blaine Carr of Northern Kentucky to advance to the second round to take on Michal Kianicka of Wright State. Sterkens went long to defeat Kianicka, 6-0, 4-6, 10-7, to move on to Saturday's quarterfinals against Memphis' Matt Story. A win by default lifted Sterkens to an appearance in the semifinals where he eventually fell to IUPUI's David Beasley. Inno advanced to the second consolation round by default before falling to Indiana's Brandon Lam.
Belmont Men's Tennis returns to action October 27-29 at the Charlotte 49ers Fall Invitational in Charlotte, N.C.