LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (February 15, 2013) - In its first matches of the 2013 campaign, the Golden Eagles fell in a pair of contests in Little Rock, losing to NCAA II Harding (Ark.), 9-0, before coming up just short against NCAA III Hendrix (Ark.), 6-3.
During doubles play, freshman Colton Cheek and sophomore Blake Zoellner managed to nab two games at the No. 2 spot, but ultimately fell, 8-2. At the third spot, the duo of freshman Brandon Laney and sophomore Luke Pascoe nabbed a lone game but also dropped an 8-1 decision.
In singles play, John Brown was unable to register more than three game wins. Senior Cameron McLendon and sophomore Alex Baker each posted two wins (6-0, 6-2) and Pascoe landed three, despite the loss (6-2, 6-1).
"Both teams competed extremely hard," said head coach Paul Pautsch. "We just couldn't string enough points together to win games. Harding is a very good team and we need to see where we stand against strong competition."
In its second match of the day, John Brown fared much better against Hendrix, as Laney and Pascoe earned their first doubles victory at the third spot, 8-4.
Despite facing a 2-1 hole after doubles play, Laney continued his strong play, grabbing a 6-1, 6-3 win at the No. 6 slot while Cheek captured his first-career singles victory (6-3, 6-4) at the fifth slot.
Baker almost upset Hendrix's Udai Garimella at the No. 2 spot. After falling in the first set, 6-4, Baker mounted a 6-2 comeback, forcing a tiebreaker. Unfortunately, Garimella ran away with the 10-1 win.
"We were very close to victory against Hendrix," added Pautsch. "When these young men start believing in themselves, they will have success. The freshmen turned in great performances today.
"I'm very excited about where JBU tennis is headed."
The Golden Eagles return to the court on Saturday, Feb. 16, when it travels to Conway, Ark., to face NCAA III Ozarks (Ark.) in a matinee matchup.