MELBOURNE, Fla.-The Florida Tech Panthers hosted two different schools with the men playing two matches while the women just faced the #4 West Florida
Argonauts. In the opening men’s match Florida Tech hosted NCAA Division I Stetson University (5-2) falling 6-3. Without a break the Panthers leapt into the
next match against the #1 ranked West Florida (2-1) falling 7-2, while the women were swept 9-0 against the Lady Argonauts (3-0) in the afternoon
doubleheader at the Sarno Avenue Courts.
Despite the tall order faced, Panthers’ junior Keith Kessler (Brooklyn, New York) stepped up big time having the best tennis day of his career only to be
diminished by the heartbreaking team losses. Kessler began the day defeating Division I Marcus Echtler 6-4 3-6 1-0 (ret) after a lengthy #1 singles match.
Kessler and tandem partner Cliff Giel (Savaneta, Aruba), who are ranked #17th in the nation, also pulled off two wins on the day in double action 8-6
against the Hatters and 8-5 vs. the Argonauts. Later in the afternoon, Kessler faced his toughest match of the day against #2 ranked Diego Zorzi from West
Florida again took it to a tie breaker set ultimately winning 3-6, 6-4, 4-0.
The only other Panther win on the day came from the #6 men’s single action against Stetson where freshman Jeremy Casperson (Jacksonville, FL) played his
first singles match and grabbed his first collegiate career victory defeating Brett Feldman 6-4-7-5.
On the women’s side senior Belen Pandre (Buenos Aires, Argentina) fell hard 7-6, 0-6, 1-0 in only her second time in the #2 spot against Tammy Kevey.
Pandre and partner sophomore Michaela Horvathova (Bratislava, Slovakia) managed to take three games only falling 8-3 to the #5TH ranked tandem of Anne
Clair Beard and Suzanna Cavalcante from West Florida. Senior Kim Tucker (St. Elizabeth, Jamaica) also manged to grab six games against Miranda Dutra losing
6-4, 6-2 playing in the #5 spot. Tucker has been picking up her play having grabbed a tremendous win earlier this week against Embry-Riddle.
The Panthers are back in action hosting Saint Leo in their first Sunshine State Conference double header match on Saturday, February 18th at noon again at
the Sarno Avenue Courts. The women are now 1-2 overall and the men are 1-4 on the season. The women actually will scrimmage two community colleges on
Wednesday up in Jacksonville to get some extra playing time in this week.