Johnson City, Tenn. -- The East Tennessee State University men's tennis team clinched its second consecutive Southern Conference title with a 4-3 victory over the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., this afternoon. The win, ETSU's 22nd consecutive win over a conference opponent, improved the Bucs to 18-7, 10-0. The College of Charleston drops to 12-11 on the season.
ETSU opened the afternoon by sweeping the doubles matches to pick up the lone doubles point. The Bucs then won three of the six singles matches to grab the victory. Roberto Fernandez (#3) defeated Matt Beckham 6-4, 7-6 in the match that clinched the victory for the Bucs. After winning the first set rather handily, Fernandez and Beckham went back and forth throughout the second set before going to a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Fernandez and Beckham were tied at 3-3, 4-4, and 5-5. At 5-5, Fernandez hit a passing shot to take a 6-5 lead. Beckham then double-faulted to give Fernandez the tiebreaker, 7-5, and the Bucs the match.
ETSU also got key victories from both Juan Yannuzzi and Matt Keeter. Yannuzzi defeated Brett Deixler 6-0, 6-1 at #3 and Keeter defeated Victor Vandor 6-2, 6-4 at #6.
"This was a tough match for us today," said ETSU Head Coach Dave Mullins. "Mentally we knew that we had clinched, but we still had one more match to go. The guys battled very hard this afternoon. Doubles was huge for us today. Matt Keeter stepped up in a big way at #6 to give us a key point and Fernandez did a great job as well to clinch the match."
Today's match completes the regular season for ETSU. The Bucs will play in the Southern Conference Tournament which begins on April 27 in Chattanooga.
#1 Henrico du Plessis (CofC) def Gustavo Gomez 6-3, 6-3
#2 Eyal Omid (CofC) def. Marcos Pavlovich 6-3, 6-3
#3 Roberto Fernandez (ETSU) def. Matt Beckham 6-4, 7-6
#4 Juan Yannuzzi (ETSU) def. Brett Deixler 6-0, 6-1
#5 Eric McColloch (CofC) def. Anthony Bugge 6-4, 6-4
#6 Matt Keeter (CofC) def. Victor Vandor 6-2, 6-4
#1 Gomez/Fernandez (ETSU) def. Du Plessis/Vandor 8-5
#2 Pavlovich/Yannuzzi (ETSU) def. Omid/Beckham 8-3
#3 Keeter/Ricardo Nava (ETSU) def. Deixler/McColloch 8-4