Rattlers tennis smothered by Jaguars, Opsreys

Rain wasn’t the only thing to fall on Saturday as the men’s tennis team suffered two losses.

The matches were moved to the Florida State indoor facility due to inclement weather.

The first loss came against the University of South Alabama Jaguars (4-2) and the other against the University of North Florida Ospreys (4-1).

Florida A&M head coach Carl Goodman was composed throughout the matches and anticipated that the games would come down to a fight to the end.

“It was a pretty tough match,” Goodman said. “I knew it would come down to the third and fourth matches.”

In the first game, the Rattlers had two players come out victorious in their first set, with Rodney Carey defeating Gergard Gruindelingh (6-4, 6-4) and Carlos Waitman defeating Sean Robinson (6-0, 6-2).

The rest of the Rattlers suffered quick losses in their first matches.

Daniel Leitner swept Rattlers’ senior team captain Zack Evenden (6-1, 6-0). Shayann Vaezzadeh torched Jason Ulacio in straight sets (6-0, 6-0). Manuel Belda defeated Courage Okungbowa (6-3, 1-6, 6-3). And Juan Troglia took down Admire Mushonga (7-5, 6-2).

Evenden was disappointed in his first set, admitting that he struggled staying focused.

“The match was very quick, and I thought it was very different being indoors,” Evenden said. “It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but there is definitely room for improvement.”

The second matchup didn’t fare any better for the Rattlers as only Carey defeated his opponent, Caio Gomes (6-1, 6-4).

Norbert Nemcsek defeated Evenden (6-4, 6-0). Jack Findel-Hawkins squeaked past Mushonga (6-3, 6-3). Yannick Zuern trounced Okungbowa (6-1, 6-1).

Freshman Roberto Ortiz believes he could have helped his team more.

“I definitely could have played better,” Ortiz said. “My opponent was pretty good, but I had an off day.”

The men’s tennis team will need to regroup quickly. The Rattlers play again Sunday at 11 a.m. against Furman and against Mercer at 4 p.m.