LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 24 Texas Tech men's tennis team won three of four three-set decisions and worked its way to a hard-fought 5-2 victory over Indiana on Saturday at the McLeod Tennis Center.
The Red Raiders (12-3) improved to 8-0 at home this season and defeated Indiana (5-4) for the fifth consecutive season.
"A lot of guys really stood out," Texas Tech head coach Brett Masi said. "Two of them lost their first set (Artem and Tommy) and came back to win. I thought they showed good fight and had a courageous effort. It makes you feel good as a coach to see them do those kind of things. I think Connor had a very solid effort from start-to-finish. He played really good in doubles and took care of business in singles. He was down in both of the sets and fought back to win. Those are the key points that keeps us the lead during matches. Someone like Artem, who was down 5-4 and 40 love, fights off four match points. That makes a big difference for someone like Tommy who's still battling. Anything can happen at that point. Overall, our guys stayed positive and stayed in the moment. That made a big difference during today's match."
Texas Tech continued its strong doubles play and captured the opening point for the 12th time in 15 matches. Matheus Leite and Tommy Mylnikov ripped off four consecutive games to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 6-4 win over Bennett Crane and Payam Ahmadi at the No. 3 spot.
Connor Curry and Alex Sendegeya ripped off the opening three games and cruised to a 6-2 triumph over Raheel Manji and Keivon Tabrizi on court one.
When doubles play was stopped, Artem Kapshuk and Ilgiz Valiev were trailing but on-serve at 4-5 versus Antonio Cembellin and Afonso Salgado in the No. 2 position.
The Hoosiers knotted the score at 1-1 as Cembillin was first off with a 6-4, 6-4 decision against Sendegeya on the No. 2 line. Cembellin won the last two games of each set to tuck away the win.
Texas Tech regained a 3-1 advantage behind wins courtesy of Leite and Curry. Leite rattled off a 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 triumph over Salgado from the bottom of the lineup. At 2-2 in the deciding set, Leite put together a three-game run to snatch the momentum.
Curry overcame a 5-4 hole in set two and ripped off three straight en route to a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Tabrizi at the No. 3 slot.
Indiana trimmed the margin down to 3-2 after Crane earned a 6-7 (1), 6-3, 6-4 comeback win over Valiev on court four. Valiev had his seven-match winning streak come to a close.
Mylnikov notched the fourth point and clinched his second match on the season for the Red Raiders at the top of the lineup. After getting blanked in a first set tiebreaker, Mylnikov battled back to claim the final two sets by a 6-4, 7-5 margin.
Kapshuk capped the match with a seesaw 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (8) victory on court five. He erased four match points trailing 5-4 in the final set and trailed 5-2 in the breaker. Kapshuk reeled off four straight points to take a 6-5 edge. He won the last two points to close out a 10-8 decision.
"We didn't play our best tennis today in terms of level," Masi said. "We all have something we can improve on. If we have a good focus and are mentally engaged in practice, we will have good match against Tulane on Sunday. It's going to be a tough test, and I think the guys are geared up for it."
Texas Tech heads back on the road and faces No. 21 Tulane next Sunday. First serve is set for 1 p.m. CT in New Orleans.
Visit www.TexasTech.com for the latest news and information on the men's tennis program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/TechMensTennis and @TexasTechTennis on Twitter.
No. 24 Texas Tech 5, Indiana 2
Feb. 17, 2018 at Lubbock, Texas (McLeod Tennis Center)
1 – Tommy Mylnikov (TTU) defeats No. 114 Raheel Manji (IU): 6-7 (0), 6-4, 7-5
2 – Antonio Cembellin (IU) defeats Alex Sendegeya (TTU): 6-4, 6-4
3 – Connor Curry (TTU) defeats Keivon Tabrizi (IU): 6-4, 7-5
4 – Bennett Crane (IU) defeats Ilgiz Valiev (TTU): 6-7 (1), 6-3, 6-4
5 – Artem Kapshuk (TTU) defeats Zac Brodney (IU): 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (8)
6 – Matheus Leite (TTU) defeats Afonso Salgado (IU): 6-1, 3-6, 7-5
Order of finish: 2, 6, 3, 4, 1, 5
1 – Connor Curry/Alex Sendegeya (TTU) defeats Raheel Manji/Keivon Tabrizi (IU): 6-2
2 – Artem Kapshuk/Ilgiz Valiev (TTU) vs. Antonio Cembellin/Afonso Salgado (IU): 4-5, unfinished
3 – Matheus Leite/Tommy Mylnikov (TTU) defeats Bennett Crane/Payam Ahmadi (IU): 6-4
Order of finish: 3, 1
Texas Tech: 12-3; National Ranking: No. 24