St. Louis, Mo. – Friday served as the opening collegiate match for a slew of freshmen Pioneers as the Transylvania men's tennis team competed in the ITA Central Regional Men's Tennis Championships hosted by Washington University in St. Louis.
Taking to the courts for the first time in their careers, a collection of first-year players including Arjun Gupta (Fort Collins, Co. / Liberty Common HS), Hugo Kouhkna (Boca Raton, Fla. / Boca Raton Prep), and Noah McNamee (Belfry, Ky. / Belfry HS) each competed in the first day of the three-day series headquartered at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center in Forest Park.
In the main draw of men's open singles, Kouhkna fell to Ohio Northern University's Zachary Beaschler, 7-5, 6-1. Gupta took on Radhakrishna Vishnubhotla of the host team Washington University, with the 6-3, 6-1 result going to Vishnubhotla. Gupta later fell to William Louiselle 6-3, 6-3 in the consolation bracket.
Friday also witnessed the debut for McNamee, who took the first set from Otterbein's Tyler Wharton in the men's open singles UTR B section before falling 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 in a three-set affair. McNamee later pushed Greenville's Austin Buckhart to three sets before taking a 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 defeat.
Gupta and Kouhkna found success later in the day in the men's open doubles consolation round; after falling against the combo of Vlad Rotnov and Brian Weisberg from Denison University, the two teamed up for an 8-2 win against Blake Trusty and Evan Trusty of Trine University to complete Friday on a winning note.
The Pioneers continue the second of three days in St. Louis on Saturday as ITA Regionals play continues.
For more on Transylvania men's tennis, follow @TransyTennis on Twitter