Mocs Earn 4-3 Road Win at UNC Asheville in Men’s Tennis

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s tennis team picked up a solid 4-3 win at UNC Asheville today. The Mocs took four of six singles matches for their second win of the weekend, improving to 2-5 overall. The Bulldogs saw their record even at 3-3.
“This was a super-strong road win for this team,” stated UTC head coach Chuck Merzbacher. “I told the team, that not everything went our way and we showed some real toughness to get the win.”

UNCA won the opening doubles point with a tiebreaker in the deciding match. After losing at No. 2, UTC junior Tomas Rodriguez and freshman Peyton Gatti responded with a 7-5 win at No. 1 over Charlie Morkel and Jon Brann Reid.

The No. 3 match proved to be the decider. Asheville’s Leo Bierbaum and Harry Thursfield outlasted Chattanooga’s Kerim Hyatt and Jeffery Dewald [7-6 (5)].

“We lost a close doubles point,” added Merzbacher. “We had a chance with a match point, but everyone just hung in there despite falling behind early. I am very proud of this group as they continue to battle at every position.”

The Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead in the dual when Reid beat Dewald at No. 4 (6-0, 6-2). From there on it was mostly the Mocs coming out on top. UTC ran off four-straight wins, beginning with Rodriguez over Oli Nolan at No. 1 (6-2, 6-0). It was Rodriguez’s third win in a row as he improved to a team-leading 13-5 on the year.

Gatti tied the score with a (6-2, 6-1) win over Quinn Fender at No. 6, for his second win of the weekend. Senior Turner Voges won his fourth straight at No. 2, a three-set victory over Morkel (3-6, 6-2, 6-0), to give the Mocs a 3-2 lead. Hyatt clinched the win at No. 3 with a three-set victory of his own against Thursfield (6-4, 6-7, 6-1).

Up next for UTC is a trip to Austin Peay on Tuesday, March 9. First serve is set for 11:00 a.m. in Clarksville, Tenn. A link for live scoring is available on the men’s tennis schedule page on

Chattanooga 4, UNC Asheville 3
03/7/2021 at Asheville, N.C. (Asheville Racquet Club)
Doubles competition
1. Tomas Rodriguez/Peyton Gatti (UTC) def. MORKEL, Charlie/REID, Jon Brann (AVL) 7-5
2. NOLAN, Oli/SERRA, Rafa (AVL) def. Turner Voges/Simon Labbe (UTC) 6-0
3. BIERBAUM, Leo/THURSFIELD, Harry (AVL) def. Kerim Hyatt/Jeffrey Dewald (UTC) 7-6 (5)

Singles competition
1. Tomas Rodriguez (UTC) def. NOLAN, Oli (AVL) 6-2, 6-0
2. Turner Voges (UTC) def. MORKEL, Charlie (AVL) 3-6, 6-2, 6-0
3. Kerim Hyatt (UTC) def. THURSFIELD, Harry (AVL) 6-4, 6-7, 6-1
4. REID, Jon Brann (AVL) def. Jeffrey Dewald (UTC) 6-0, 6-2
5. BIERBAUM, Leo (AVL) def. Simon Labbe (UTC) 2-6, 7-5, 7-6
6. Peyton Gatti (UTC) def. FENDER, Quinn (AVL) 6-2, 6-1