LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The WKU men's tennis team earned a split in singles play, but was unable to pick a win in doubles competition as Bellarmine earned the all-important doubles point to hold on for a 4-3 win over the Hilltoppers on Sunday in Louisville, Ky.
The win over WKU was the first for the Knights since the 1962 season, as the Hilltoppers had rattled off 18-straight wins over Bellarmine in that span. The loss snaps a three-match winning streak for WKU, as the Hilltoppers had not lost a match since March 7 at Alabama-Huntsville.
WKU (5-7) was paced on Sunday by a pair of veterans, as senior Craig Kirchgessner and junior Lance Freeman picked up two of the three singles wins, with Kirchgessner's coming in a three-set thriller over Alex Chanley from the No. 5 singles positions. The win for Kirchgessner is his third in a row and evens his 2012 record at 3-3.
Freeman inched closer to the 30-win plateau for his career, winning his fourth single in a row on Sunday. Freeman took down Carlos Antonioli in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3 to even his singles record at 6-6 this season and give him 28 career singles wins.
Freshman Brody Freeman also picked up a singles win for the Hilltoppers, as he outlasted Logan Knott 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 from the No. 6 singles spot in the WKU lineup. The win gives Freeman four singles wins this season, putting the freshman tied for the second-most wins on the Hilltopper squad this season.
Sophomore Josh Smith saw his six-match win streak from the No. 1 singles spot come to an end on Sunday, as Smith forced Anton Rabinov to three sets, before ultimately falling 6-1, 4-6, 6-1. Smith's six singles wins in a row from the top spot were the most by a Hilltopper since Thomas Krug accomplished the feat back in 2010.
WKU will return to action on April 9 against Cumberland, as the Hilltoppers are scheduled to play four matches during that week leading up the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, which is set to begin on April 19.
Bellarmine 4, WKU Men's Tennis 3
April 1, 2012
1. Anton Rabinov (BELL) def. Josh Smith (WKUM) 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
2. Jacob Knagenhjelm (BELL) def. Arul Selvan (WKUM) 3-0, retired
3. Lance Freeman (WKUM) def. Carlos Antonioli (BELL) 6-0, 6-3
4. Jimmy Fernandez (BELL) def. Andrew Fish (WKUM) 6-4, 6-3
5. Craig Kirchgessner (WKUM) def. Alex Chanley (BELL) 6-7, 7-6, 10-3
6. Brody Freeman (WKUM) def. Logan Knott (BELL) 6-3, 3-6, 10-7
1. Anton Rabinov/Alex Chanley (BELL) def. Josh Smith/Arul Selvan (WKUM) 8-2
2. Jacob Knagenhjelm/Carlos Antonioli (BELL) def. Lance Freeman/Craig Kirchgessner (WKUM) 8-5
3. Jimmy Fernandez/Michael Heinekamp (BELL) def. Andrew Fish/Kaleb Ball (WKUM) 9-8