The men’s and women’s tennis teams were in action last week beginning on Tuesday, March 19, as the men beat Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech before falling to Liberty, while the women lost to Jacksonville State and Liberty.
Senior Fermin Calvo Barcelo broke a team record by winning his 62nd career singles match 4-3 as the men’s team opened its week against the Gamecocks.
His win breaks the previous record held by former teammate and current assistant coach Simon Pritchard.
For Calvo Barcelo, this accomplishment is a culmination of his hard work over the years, which helped him earn the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year Award last season.
“Obviously a tremendous accomplishment today for Fermin,” Director of Tennis Matt Emery said. “Records like this one are determined by what a player does consistently, not just on one day, which is why it is such a special accomplishment.”
While the Owls dropped the doubles point early on, junior transfer Sebastian Osorio helped get the team back on track with a 6-3, 6-3 win. Calvo Barcelo kept the momentum going for KSU with a straight-set victory that involved a first-set tiebreaker.
Two more wins by KSU players clinched the victory for the team — its first after a four-match losing streak.
On Wednesday, the men’s team played a close match against Tennessee Tech in a 4-3 victory.
After dropping the doubles point again, the Owls rebounded through strong efforts from Osorio and sophomore Bryan Triana. The Golden Eagles managed to win one more match before KSU solidified another win.
Senior Lucas de Torres Curth won in three sets, while Calvo Barcelo lost his match despite winning the first set.
Clinching the victory was freshman Kevin Patel, who won his first collegiate match in just his second appearance.
The men’s team finished up its week with a 5-2 loss to Liberty on Saturday. Calvo Barcelo and Patel led the way with match wins while three other KSU players stretched their matches to three sets.
Kendall Nash won a tight three-set match as the women’s team began their week against Jacksonville State on Tuesday as well, falling 5-2.
After freshman Laura Mehlsam won the first point of the day for the Owls, Nash stepped up and mounted a comeback from a set down.
Falling behind 5-7 in the first set, Nash worked her way into the match and won the second set 6-3. The final set would be a battle of attrition as the non-tiebreaker rule was in effect.
As a result, the match was elongated, but Nash came out the victor with an 11-9 final set win.
The women’s team finished their week against Liberty, getting blanked by the Flames 7-0. Junior Aspen Jarrett turned in the strongest performance of the day, winning her first set before falling in the two tight sets afterward.
Up next, both teams travel to play Lipscomb on Thursday, March 28, before coming home to host North Alabama on Saturday. The men then travel on Sunday to play the University of Georgia.