Marion, AL—The Tigers got off to a slow start on Wednesday afternoon at the Paul B. Anderson Tennis Complex and never fully recovered as they dropped a close contest to the Faulkner State Sun Chiefs, 5-4. The difference between the two teams was slight, with MMI and Faulkner State splitting the six singles matches and Faulkner State edging out MMI, 2-1, in the doubles matches.
Faulkner State vaulted out to a 1-0 lead with a quick doubles win on court 3. The Tigers bounded back with a terrific effort from Kaiser De Leon and Javier de Claire on court 2. Down 1-5, the talented Tiger tandem clawed its way back into the match, winning six of the last seven games of the set to take the first set, 7-5. De Leon and de Claire closed out the match with a 6-3 second-set win. After splitting 7-5 sets in the first two sets, Romar Hernandez and Jake McDonough came up just shy of winning. Court 1 went Faulkner State's way, 7-5, 5-7, 12-10.
Faulkner State pulled out to a 4-1 lead with singles wins on courts 5 and 6. MMI's Jake McDonough hammered Tyler Watts, 6-1, 6-0, on court 3, and MMI's Romar Hernandez shook off a shaky first set to close the Faulkner State lead to 4-3, handing Faulkner State's Walker Bynum a 7-5, 6-0 loss on court 2.
Javier de Claire tied the match at 4-4, winning a three-set thriller on court 4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-1.
The match came down to court 1. Trailing 1-4, a game Kaiser De Leon ran out of gas and had to retire from the match.
The Tigers go on the road to participate in the Stillman College Invitational Tennis Tournament in Tuscaloosa, AL, on Friday, April 4 and Saturday, April 5. First serves are set to fly at 9:00 a.m. on both days.