Marquette Wire

Men’s tennis fails to advance at ITA All-Americans

Mackenzie+Stearns+lost+his+first+match+of+the+weekend+to+Virginia+Tech%27s+Mitch+Harper.
Mackenzie Stearns lost his first match of the weekend to Virginia Tech's Mitch Harper.

Mackenzie Stearns lost his first match of the weekend to Virginia Tech's Mitch Harper.

Photo by Maggie Bean

Photo by Maggie Bean

Mackenzie Stearns lost his first match of the weekend to Virginia Tech's Mitch Harper.

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The men’s tennis team’s trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma was cut short this weekend as both senior Mackenzie Stearns and sophomore Alvaro Verdu failed to make it out of the 256-player pre-qualifying draw of the 2016 Saint Francis Health System ITA All-American Championships.

Both players lost their first match on Saturday, with Stearns falling 6-3, 6-2 to Mitch Harper of Virginia Tech and Verdu dropping a three-set match 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to Nocolas Rouanet of Louisville.

“Well, the goal is always to try to get out of the first weekend. To really move on in the tournament you have to win 4 tennis matches,” assistant coach Jud Shaufler said. “But we didn’t. We moved into the consolation bracket for today.”

Stearns found more success in his second match, rallying from behind to win a three-set battle 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 against his Oral Roberts opponent.

“Mackenzie had a good match and it was a really good win for him. The match started to get away from him a bit, and he did a good job of turning it around. In the third set he did a good job of sustaining the effort to make sure we got the win,” Shaufler said.

Verdu lost his three-set second match to his UC Irvine opponent, though Shaufler still saw it as a learning experience.

“Al’s weekend was kind of disappointing. He lost two tough three-setters that were both winnable, so he’s still getting matches under his belt and he’s still learning to get some continuity between good matches. He’ll get there though. He’s definitely getting there,” Shaufler said.

The Golden Eagles will continue the tournament season next weekend when they travel to South Bend, Indiana for the Notre Dame Invitational.

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