Meridian, MS—The MMI Tigers faced some very tough competition from the Trojans of Seminole State College in a Saturday morning tilt at the Northeast Tennis Center. The 5th-ranked Trojans blanked the Tigers, 9-0.
Led by the strong No. 1 doubles team of Ismael Mzai and Guy Iradukunda, the Trojans swept doubles play to take a 3-0 lead going into singles action. Mzai and Iradukunda defeated the Tiger tandem of Morgan Hale and Andrew Wright, 8-2. The Trojans' Ian Sioux and Kendall Stephens polished off MMI's Kaiser De Leon and Javier de Claire, 8-4, and the Trojan pair of Jacob Santana and Nick Bell rounded out the doubles scoring with an 8-4 win over MMI's Patrick Ryder and Ben Jandzinski.
The Trojans continued their torrid play in singles, winning the six matches played. Iradukunda, the No. 1-ranked singles player in the NJCAA, dusted De Leon, 6-2, 6-2. In a very heated match on Court 2, Sioux outlasted Hale, 1-6, 7-5, 10-7. Stephens took care of business on Court 3, toppling Wright, 6-2, 6-3. MMI's Ryder gave Bell all he could handle before falling, 6-4, 6-3. Reyna sprinted through de Claire, 6-1, 6-1, at the No. 5 spot. At No. 6 singles, Santana scored a 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Birchmeier.
"All in all, it was a great learning experience for the team," Coach Wright said. "That was a steep— make that a precipitous—learning curve. This type of match shows you where you are and what you need to do to improve as a team. We got our heads handed to us today, but at least we have our heads back and we can move on and play better and smarter tennis in the future."