CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. –The top-seeded ETSU men’s tennis squad repeated as Southern Conference champions on Sunday, earning a 4-2 win over No. 3 seed Furman in the 2018 SoCon Tennis Championship at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Bucs earned the SoCon’s automatic berth to the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships and now has 11 SoCon Tournament crowns in program history.
ETSU took opened the match by taking the doubles point to open with a 1-0 lead. It was the third straight match in the tournament that the Bucs won the doubles point. Furman’s top pair of Cameron Green and Jake Munns claimed a 6-0 win at No. 1 doubles in 23 minutes, but ETSU’s Sergi Fontcuberta and David Gonzalez rebounded with a 6-2 win at No. 3 and the Bucs’ Robert Herrera and Miguel Este polished off the doubles point with a 6-3 win at No. 2 doubles.
Things were tight in singles play, with ETSU winning the first set in four of the six matches. Juan Lugo got the Bucs started in singles with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles and then Gonzalez extended ETSU’s lead to 3-0 with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 win over Furman’s Drew Singerman.
Green made things interesting for the Paladins after clinching a 6-2, 6-7 (7-5), 6-1 win on court one to cut into the ETSU lead. Clarke Wilson then earned a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win at No. 5 singles to pull Furman within one point (3-2). Este provided the match-clincher soon after, winning 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 at No. 6 singles to secure the championship for the Bucs.
The No. 3 match was unfinished with each Ivan Mitric and Fontcuberta each claiming a set and the third set tied at 5-5.
Fontcuberta, a junior from Barcelona, Spain, was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Sunday’s title for ETSU marked the fifth straight year that the regular season champion has also won the tournament. It also marks the first time a team has won four straight tournament titles, a feat that previously had not been accomplished in the conference since Chattanooga won eight straight titles from 1978-1985.
The Bucs will now await the NCAA tournament bracket announcement, which will be announced in two weeks.