NASHVILLE. Tenn. - Three WKU tennis newcomers made their Hilltopper debuts on Friday, as the WKU men's tennis team fell in its season opener to Lipscomb, 6-1 on Friday.
J.T. Closi, Brody Freeman and Josh Smith all made their spring debuts for the Hilltopper tennis team, as WKU went with a mix of youth and experience in its opening match. The Hilltoppers started two seniors and one junior, to go along with a pair of sophomores and freshmen to round out the lineup. The Hilltoppers have five freshmen on the current 2012 roster, to go along with sophomore Josh Smith, who did not play last season.
Smith played the top singles spot for the Hilltoppers in his spring debut, falling in three sets after winning the second set over Oliver Strecker. The Hilltoppers will lean on Smith to solve the No. 1 position in 2012, as WKU went just 1-16 from the top singles spot last season after finishing at or above .500 in every other singles position.
Junior Lance Freeman, who led WKU in singles wins in 2011, was the only Hilltopper able to pick up a win on Friday, defeating Lipscomb's Tanner Brown from the No. 3 singles position. Freeman improves to 2-1 from the No. 3 position for his career, as he played primarily from the No. 4 spot last season.
Lipscomb's win over WKU is the second in as many seasons, after the Hilltoppers had won four in a row over the Bison going into 2011.
WKU will return to action on February 10 on the road at Austin Peay, marking the second of five-straight matches on the road to open the season. Both the Hilltoppers and the Lady Toppers will make the trip to Clarksville, Tenn., with both looking for their first wins of the 2012 season.
Lipscomb 6, WKU 1
Strecker (LU) def. Smith (WKU): 6-3, 6-4, 7-5
Salazar (LU) def. Selvan (WKU): 6-2, 6-2
Freeman (WKU) def. Brown (LU): 0-6, 6-4, 1-3 (retired)
Shaw (LU) def. Kirchgessner: 6-3, 6-1)
Hernandez (LU) def. Closi (WKU): 7-5, 6-2
Cortez (LU) def. B. Freeman (WKU): 6-1, 7-5
Streker/Tierney (LU) def. Smith/Selvan (WKU): 8-5
Brown/Cortez (LU) def. Kirchgessner/Freeman (WKU): 8-3
Shaw/Salazar (LU) def. Ball/Closi (WKU): 8-5