Wichita, Kan. – The UMBC men's tennis team dropped a lengthy, hard-fought 4-2 decision to Illinois State in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference Championships, held at Crestview Country Club.
After dropping the doubles point to the Redbirds, UMBC (7-14) evened the match at 2-2 with victories by seniors Melker Svärd and Alex Drean. Svärd evened the match at 1-1 with a convincing 6-4, 6-0 triumph over Jakub Eisner. Illinois State (10-13) won at No. 4 singles, but Drean knotted the match with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Rodrigo Oliveira.
With junior Biyik Akinshemoyin well ahead in his match at No. 5 singles and No. 6 Kevin Hsieh trailing in his contest, the match turned on the outcome of the No. 1 singles match. Retriever senior Justin Carter lost a tough first set, 7-5, to Urh Krajnc Domiter and could not turn the match around, falling, 7-5, 6-2.
Hsieh fell, 6-2, 6-0 and the Illinois State advanced to meet top-seeded and host Wichita State on Saturday.