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A spirit that is not afraid

Tennis team triumphs in tournament

Auburn men's tennis traveled to Waco, TX Friday for the HEB Baylor Invitational. The competition lasted through Sunday.

The Tigers kicked off the tournament with five wins on their first day.

Senior Tim Puetz played two victorious two-set matches against Sergio Ramirez of Baylor (7-5, 6-3) and James Langford of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6-1, 6-3).

He was forced to withdraw after his second win due to injury.

Other wins for the day in singles included junior Alex Stamchev, who won against Aurelian Tave of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (6-1, 7-6 (5)), and sophomore Lucas Lopasso, who won against Brandon Farine of Louisiana-Lafayette (7-6, 6-2).

Victories in doubles included two pairs from Auburn. Lopasso and

sophomore Tim Hewitt took an 8-4 win over Beau Blackshear and Santiago

Centeno, and Puetz and Stamchev took a 9-8 (5) win over Slah Mbarek and Daniel Sanchez of TCU.

The second day of the tournament was promising as well.

In singles, Lopasso went on to the semifinals. He and Hewitt also advanced to finals in the doubles competition.

Sunday, Lopasso advanced to finals in singles after winning a three-set match against Daniel Brown of Texas A&M (6-2, 2-6, 7-5).

"I couldn't play any better," said Lopasso.

However, due to a scheduling conflict, he was unable to complete the singles competition, and focused instead on doubles with Hewitt.

The two went on to win the title by the end of the tournament, finishing their last game against Soren Goritzka and Cameron Nash of TCU. The pairs came to an 8-8 tie, but the Tigers managed to pull a 9-8 win in the tiebreaker.

"They were down in the break, but they kept fighting and believed they could win the match, and they came back 9-8," said Gabor Pelva, associate head coach.

Hewitt said he was happy with the results of the tournament.

"I'm really proud, I'm happy with myself," he said. "I think Lucas was exceptional this weekend, I was really happy with how he played."

After a successful weekend, the Tigers hope to continue to improve throughout the fall.

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"We're trying to get better for the spring," said Lopasso.

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