Tide defeats Furman, Southern Miss in doubleheader

The Alabama men’s tennis team won both matches of a doubleheader on Feb. 22. The Crimson Tide defeated the Furman Paladins 6-1 in the morning at the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Indoor Tennis Facility. In the afternoon, the Tide defeated the Southern Miss Golden Eagles 6-1 outside at the Alabama Tennis Stadium.

“We did a good job in both matches,” junior Daniil Proskura said. “Everyone competed well and played well, and we had guys who improved a lot since last week.”

In the Furman match, the Tide won all three of the doubles matches, which earned a point toward the overall team score. Senior Jarryd Botha and sophomore David Vierya defeated their opponents from Furman 8-4. Proskura and freshman Becker O’Shaughnessey won their match 8-4. Junior Carlos Taborga and sophomore Philippe Tsangarides won their match 8-6.

In the singles portion of the Furman match, the Tide only needed to win three of the six games to win the overall team match. Alabama won five of the six singles matches to claim the victory. Four of the five matches the Tide won came in straight sets. The win over Furman erased a two-match losing streak for the Tide.

“We all competed well against Furman,” head coach George Husack said. “We were thrown a little bit of a loop going indoors, but we’ve been playing a lot of indoors, so we were used to it but it was good for us.”

In the Southern Miss match, Alabama won two of the three doubles matches. Vierya and Botha won their doubles match 8-3. Proskura and O’Shaughnessey did not lose a game in their match as they went on to beat their Southern Miss opponents 8-0. Proskura and O’Shaughnessey won both doubles matches as well as both of their singles matches.

“That was one of the best days I have ever had,” Proskura said. “I’m playing really well, and I’m confident in everything I’m doing.”

As for the rest of the Southern Miss match, the Tide won five of the six singles matches, including three in straight sets.

“It was great,” Husack said. “I thought we competed extremely [well] against Southern Miss. That’s the most important thing for us is to compete.”

In the two matches combined, the Tide faced four tiebreaking sets. The Tide won three of the four tiebreakers. In the Furman match, Botha won a 13-11 tiebreaking third set. In the Southern Miss match, Taborga and Tsangarides both won in tiebreakers. Taborga won his tiebreaker 7-3, and Tsangarides won his tiebreaker 7-4.

“When you get to [a] tiebreaker, it’s all about who is going to win more points,” Husack said. “They made their opponents see one extra ball and they fought, which was a big difference in the matches.”

The Tide is now done with nonconference play. It will open SEC play on March 1 as it hosts Ole Miss. Husack said the opponents the team has faced this year have prepared it for conference play.

“I feel like our whole nonconference schedule and all of our results went really well,” Husack said. “I feel like we are where we want to be headed into conference play.”

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