MONTGOMERY, Ala. – After matching each other in the first five matches of the season, the Blazers and Lady Blazers diverged for the first time this year. The Blazers were able to survive Auburn-Montgomery, 5-4, to improve to 4-2 for the season, while the Lady Blazers fell just short, 5-4, to drop to 3-3 on the year.
The men started with a 2-1 lead after doubles play. Niklas Herbring and Christian Hansen beat Josh Reason and Marlu Jansen Van Vuuren in convincing fashion, 8-2, in the top spot. In the bottom doubles, Nicola Kusy and Tammo Haake defeated Bence Toth and Matia Dasso, 8-5.
Konstantin Kutschenko and Sebastian Jasyk weren’t as fortunate when they fell to Nicolas Pinones-Haltenhoff and Zinelabidine Jouini, 8-4, in the middle doubles match.
With the 2-1 lead, VSU just needed three points in singles play, and they would receive just that. Kutschenko, Herbring and Haake came through for Valdosta State in the second, third and sixth slots. Kutschenko beat Toth, 6-2, 6-3, and Herbring took down Reason in matching 6-1 sets. Haake defeated Dasso, 6-1, 6-0, in the sixth slot.
Hansen fell in the top spot, 6-4, 6-3, to Pinones-Haltenhoff, while Kusy fell to Jouini, 6-3, 6-2, in the fifth spot. Jasyk put up a fight in the first set against Jansen Van Vuuren, but could not follow through in the second, falling, 7-5, 6-3, in the fourth spot.
The Lady Blazers also held a 2-1 advantage after doubles but could not get the needed singles points. In the third doubles spot Maja Ehses and Tina Trautmann did not have an Auburn-Montgomery team to face so they won by default. Sara Braun and Alina Nagel, meanwhile, beat Tiffany William and Hagar Caro, 8-3, in the second slot. At top doubles Michelle Fischer and Juliana Boehm fell, 8-3, to Ana Veselinovic and Jade Curtis.
The only Lady Blazers to pick up wins in singles play were Nagel and Trautmann. Trautmann, again won by default with no opponent to face. Nagel, however, beat Caro, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).
Unfortunately, VSU could not get a win in first through fourth singles. Braun, Boehm and Ehses all fell by matching sets: Braun to Curtis, 6-2, 6-2; Boehm to William, 6-0, 6-0; and Ehses to Kveta Hajkova, 6-1, 6-1. In the top spot Fischer fell, 6-3, 6-2, to Veselinovic.
Valdosta State will next travel to Pensacola, Fla., for a conference match against Christian Brothers at 2 p.m. Friday.