PIKEVILLE – Improving to 3-1 in Mid-South Conference play was easy for the 21st-ranked University of Pikeville men’s tennis team on Saturday as it routed St. Catharine College 8-1 at Bob Amos Park.
It all started with a 2-1 lead after doubles play as only top-seeded Pawel Tarasewicz and Dmitry Babenkov lost, falling 8-5 to Andre Jacomini and Ivan Kerkoc. UPIKE wouldn’t lose again, starting with the No. 2 pair of Sven Rodenbusch and Marcos Fondelius topping Sergio Mendoza and Felipe Barrientos 8-2.
Third-seeded Francois Billet and Connor Smith finished off the early lead with an 8-1 decision over Tyler Glover and Marshell Berry.
The Bears won all six singles matches in straight sets with the closest play happening at the top seed where Babenkov got past Jacomini 6-3, 7-6 (4). Sven Rodenbusch backed him up at the second seed with a 6-2, 6-1 rout of Kerkoc.
Up 4-1, Pikeville sealed the win with third-seeded Billet topping Barrientos 6-2, 6-3. Sixth-seeded Juan Manuel Reyes had the easiest time for UPIKE winning 6-0, 6-0 against Berry.
The team was motivated from the onset as it welcomed friend and fan of the team Steve Huffman to the facility to speak with the players prior to the match. The team and Mr. Huffman had a moment of silence for his wife Nadine who passed away from cancer last week. The players told Mr. Huffman that this victory was for him.
UPIKE 8, SCC 1
Saturday, April 5 at Bob Amos Park (Pikeville)
1. Dmitry Babenkov (UPIKE) def. Andre Jacomini (SCC) 6-3, 7-6 (4)
2. Sven Rodenbusch (UPIKE) def. Ivan Kerkoc (SCC) 6-2, 6-1
3. Francois Billet (UPIKE) def. Felipe Barrientos (SCC) 6-2, 6-3
4. Marcos Fondelius (UPIKE) def. Sergio Mendoza (SCC) 7-5, 6-3
5. Pawel Tarasewicz (UPIKE) def. Tyler Glover (SCC) 6-1, 6-1
6. Juan Manuel Reyes (UPIKE) def. Marshell Berry (SCC) 6-0, 6-0
1. Tarasewicz/Babenkov (SCC) def. Jacomini/Kerkoc (UPIKE) 8-5
2. Sven Rodenbusch/Fondelius (UPIKE) def. Mendoza/Barrientos (SCC) 8-2
3. Billet /Connor Smith (UPIKE) def. Glover/Berry (SCC) 8-1
Pikeville: 10-5, 3-1 MSC; National Ranking: No. 21
St. Catharine: 3-4, 1-4 MSC; National Ranking: UR