CLINTON, Iowa - The Ashford University men's tennis team was back on the court after a long layoff over the weekend, taking part in three dual matches on Friday and Saturday, Apr. 13-14. Head Coach Chad Fenwick's crew took the home match on Friday before winning the finale on Saturday as the Saints posted a 2-1 record on the weekend.
Ashford 5, St. Francis 4
The Saints lined up against the University of St. Francis (IL) inside the Ashford Indoor Community Tennis Center on Friday night in Clinton. With their backs against the wall late in the duel, the Saints would rally to take the final three singles matches to pull out a 5-4 win.
Ashford jumped out to a lead in the doubles matches, thanks to the pairing of Moises Hernandez/Luis Castillo and Diego Aviles/Jake Dunn.
Hernandez and Castillo would handle St. Francis' Eddie Semik and Zach Mulladay in #2 doubles, 8-3. Aviles and Dunn would take a thriller over Diego Mogrovejo and Chad Randall in #3 doubles action, 9-8 (7-5).
The visiting Saints would take the early advantage in singles play, as the top-three seeds recorded victories over Ashford's Carlos Pico, Alvaro Merino and Hernandez.
But Ashford would take advantage of the bottom half of singles play, starting with Castillo who knocked off Randall in #4 singles play; 6-2, 6-3.
Aviles handed Semik his second loss of the day in #5 singles, taking the match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.
Dunn would provide the final point to give Ashford the win in #6 singles after easily defeating Mulladay, 6-2, 6-0.
Wartburg 6, Ashford 2
Saturday, the Saints headed to Waverly, Iowa for a pair of matches, opening with Wartburg College.
Ashford took an early lead in doubles play, when the #1 tandem of Pico and Merino downed Wartburg's Chris Buckingham and Josh Trueblood, 8-4.
Hernandez and Castillo were also victorious in #2 doubles play, defeating Brian Rasmussen and Dayton Stevens, 8-3.
But those would be the only points the Saints would get, as the Knights would take the final doubles match and all five completed singles matches to earn the win.
Ashford 6, Buena Vista 3
Closing out the weekend, the Saints picked up their ninth win of the season by handing the Beavers of Buena Vista a 6-3 loss.
Pico and Merino capped a perfect Saturday in doubles play, downing BVU's Adam Gustad and Jason Ehrhardt, 9-7.
Aviles and Kyle Deckard gave the Saints a 2-1 advantage after doubles, picking up a hard-fought 8-6 win over Dillon Nevius and Kyle Shade.
In singles play, the Saints' top-four dominated their opponents after Pico led off with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Gustad in #1-singles play. Merino handled Mike Sporer in #2-singles action by an identical score.
Hernandez was impressive in the #3 spot, downing Ehrhardt, 6-2, 6-1. Castillo would cap the Saints' victories with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Keifer Nevius.
Next up for the Saints are another pair of dual matches on Saturday, Apr. 21. At 10:00 a.m., Ashford will tangle with Missouri Valley and at 2:00 p.m., the Saints will face off with Graceland.