By John Ostapowicz
The Youngstown State University men’s tennis team traveled to Nashville, Tennessee Sept. 16-18 to compete in the Belmont Hidden Duals hosted by Belmont university.
With the start of the season, the team is coming off of its first NCAA tournament appearance in school history.
All eight members of last year’s Horizon League Championship team return, led by HL Player of the Year senior Laurentiu Mandocescu and HL Freshman of the Year Clement Mainguy.
“I’m happy with that achievement last season, but it was mainly because of the team’s spirit on and off the court,” Mainguy said.
The Penguins debuted in the season-opening tournament Sept. 17, which saw the team fall to Belmont University with only two singles matches to show for its efforts.
In singles matches, Mainguy and senior Javi Pla were able to secure victories against the Bruins.
In doubles matches, the defending Horizon League champions could not secure a single victory against the Bruins, losing all four of their matches.
Youngstown State turned things around against Tennessee Tech University on the same day. The men’s tennis team walked away with three individual victories by junior David Alverez Moreno, sophomore Harry Fouzas and Mainguy.
Following singles matches, the Penguins won three of four doubles matches as the teams of Alverez Moreno, Fouzas, senior Laurentiu Mandocescu, junior Asier Pena Ibanez, Pla and Mainguy led the charge in securing the teams victories.
Youngstown State went to work on its final day of the tournament Sept. 18, as the team faced Vanderbilt University and Lipscomb University.
Against Vanderbilt and Lipscomb, four Penguins walked away with wins in singles matches with the likes of Mainguy, Mandocescu, senior Will Everett and Alverez Moreno.
In doubles, Youngstown State split with Vanderbilt and Lipscomb as Everett, Favier, Fouzas and Mandocescu won their respective matches.
With the first match of the season under the teams belt, Mainguy paved the way with three victories in singles matches. Over the course of two weeks, he looks to work on the mental side of the game.
“For me it’s focusing even more, getting even more hits as it was the first tournament in a month and a half,” Mainguy said.
With the conclusion of the tournament, the men’s tennis team is on a one week break before traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships with matches beginning Oct. 1.