MACON, Ga. –The top-seeded ETSU men’s tennis squad repeated as Southern Conference champions on Saturday, earning a 4-2 win over No. 2 seed Furman in the 2019 SoCon Tennis Championship at the John Drew Smith Tennis Center. The Bucs earned the SoCon’s automatic berth to the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships.
Furman opened the match by taking the doubles point to jump out to a 1-0 lead. It was the third straight match in the tournament that the Paladins won the doubles point. Furman’s No. 3 duo of Henrik Atlevi and Drew Singerman claimed a 6-2 win and teammates Ivan Mitric and Jake Munn finished off ETSU’s Miguel Este and Chris Mikrovas, 6-2, to secure the doubles point. The match at No. 2 went unfinished with the pair knotted at four.
Play was extremely tight in singles as five of the six matches went to three sets. Miguel Este downed James Roelofse 7-5, 6-1 at No. 6 even the match. After falling in the first set, ETSU’s Frazier Rengifo, playing at No. 1, fought back and defeated Ivan Mitric 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. Drew Singerman picked up a win at No. 5, 6-4, 3-6, 6 -2, tying the match at two.
Juan Lugo beat Jake Munns 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 at No. 3, pushing ETSU ahead, 3-2, with two matches still in play. In the end, Sergi Fontcuberta sealed the deal and clinched the win with a 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 win at flight No. 2.
The match between ETSU’s Yusuf Khamis and Furman’s Jake Bhangdia went unfinished as the two were in the third set when the match was clinched.
Este, a junior from Caracas, Venezuela, was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. David Gonzalez, a senior, was the recipient of the Pinnacle Award, which is given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA on the championship-winning team.
The Bucs will now await the NCAA tournament bracket announcement, which will be announced on Monday, May 26, at 6 p.m.