Hokies sweep College of Charleston, 7-0

BLACKSBURG – In a history-making match that featured on-court challenges through the Playsight Playfair system, the Virginia Tech men’s tennis team swept past College of Charleston 7-0 on Tuesday afternoon at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center.

Tech (3-3) won the match, but the story of the day was the Hokies and Cougars (4-3) using video replay through Playsight Playfair for the first time in a collegiate dual match. The system allowed players to challenge calls made by their opponents and the officials. Today’s match saw 14 challenges with three of those being won by the challenging player.

“I think being a part of a history-making match was a lot of fun for the players and the coaches,” said head coach Jim Thompson. “The challenge system forces players to think it through a bit more before they make a call or question one. It was a really great experience and one I hope we can repeat in the future.”

The Hokies got out to a strong start winning the doubles point as Jason Kros and Freddy Mesmer paired up for a 6-2 decision on three over Fernando Ramirez Lascurian and Luke Kusminder. Mitch Harper and Alexandre Ribeiro clinched the point on two, defeating Benedikt Henning and Easton Thomas, 6-2.

Tech took a 2-0 lead in the match with Kros winning on four, knocking off Lascurian 6-3, 6-2. On five, newcomer Feliksas Sakalauskas defeated Ryan Kahn 6-2, 6-2 to put the Hokies on top 3-0.

Mesmer secured the team win for Tech on court six where he recorded a straight-set win over Jake Kusminder 6-3, 6-4.

The Hokies’ 49th-ranked Jai Corbett fell behind 3-1 in the opening set on court one to Juan Estevarena before battling back to win the frame 7-5. He took the second set 6-3 to give the Hokies a 5-0 advantage.

In the two, Ribeiro downed Henning 6-4, 7-6(1). Harper completed the sweep for Tech with the win at four over Vasily Kichigin. After winning a tight first set 7-6(4), Harper fell in the second 6-1. The Hokies’ player responded to win a tiebreaking third 1-0(4).

Virginia Tech will return to the court, traveling to Montgomery, Alabama to compete in the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic, Feb. 24-25. Joining the Hokies at the event are Alabama, Auburn, Boise State, Princeton, Rice, South Carolina and Texas Tech.

1. #49 Jai Corbett (VT) def. Juan Estevarena (CofC) 7-5, 6-3
2. Alexandre Ribeiro (VT) def. Benedikt Henning (CofC) 6-4, 7-6(1)
3. Mitch Harper (VT) def. Vasily Kichigin (CofC) 7-6(4), 1-6, 1-0(4)
4. Jason Kros (VT) def. Fernando Ramirez Lascurian (CofC) 6-3, 6-2
5. Feliksas Sakalauskas (VT) def. Ryan Kahn (CofC) 6-2, 6-2
6. Freddy Mesmer (VT) def. Jake Kusminder (Cof) 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish: 4,5,6*,1,2,3

1. Abraham Asaba/Corbett (VT) vs. Estevarna/Kichigin (CofC) 3-5 dnf
2. Harper/Ribeiro (VT) def. Henning/Easton Thomas (CofC) 6-2
3. Kros/Mesmer (VT) def. Lascurian/Luke Kusminder (CofC) 6-2
Order of finish: 3,2

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