Auburn Tops Troy, 5-2, In Home Opener

AUBURN, Ala. – Playing at home for the first time this season, the No. 28 Auburn men's tennis team took on the Trojans of Troy University at the City of Auburn/Auburn University Yarbrough Tennis Center Wednesday and came away with the 5-2 victory. The win put Auburn at 2-2 on the season, while Troy falls to 3-2.

"Troy is now a better team than the one we faced last year," head coach Eric Shore said. "We have a long way to go as a team and we're running out of time. We take on a good Georgia Tech team next week and we have to grow up and play much better if we expect to have a close match."

The two squads proved to be tough competition for each other in doubles, as all three matches finished close. Juniors Tim Puetz and Michel Monteiro finished first, taking the 9-7 win over Xavier Masson and Branko Weber at No. 2 doubles. Securing the doubles point for Auburn were freshmen Tim Hewitt and Alexander Sajonz at the No. 1 spot. The pair defeated Luis Grangeiro and Mario Silva, 8-6.

Also picking up a doubles win were freshmen Lucas Lopasso and Andreas Mies at the No. 3 spot for the Tigers. The duo defeated Anas Rouchdi and Guilherme Sahadi in a tough battle, 9-8 (3).

With a 1-0 lead going into singles, the Tigers came away with three quick singles wins to secure the team victory. Puetz, the 24th-ranked singles player in the country, finished first with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Grangeiro at No. 1 singles. Mies followed with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Masson at the No. 3 spot, while Hewitt defeated Weber (6-3, 6-3) in the No. 2 position.

"Tim (Puetz) deserves a lot of credit as this team's captain,"Shore said. "He faced a little adversity without doubles partner Alex Stamchev. He really took leadership in doubles and got the job done in singles. That is what a captain does and that is the kind of player he is."

Auburn went up 5-0 after Lopasso claimed a 6-4, 6-4 win over Sahadi at No. 6 singles. In two contested matches at the No. 4 and No. 5 spots, Troy's Aurelien Tave bested Sajonz (6-3, 7-5) and Silva topped freshman Oliver Strecker in three sets (6-1, 4-6, 1-0).

Up next for the Tigers is a tough road trip as the squad will face No. 41 Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Feb. 17. The match is set for 2:30 p.m. EST and will be played at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.