Johnson City, Tenn. (Apr. 20, 2002) -- The No. 2-seeded East Tennessee State returned to the finals of the Southern Conference Men's Tennis Championships by defeating No. 3-seeded UNC Greensboro, 4-3, Saturday from the Earle Tennis Center on the campus of The Citadel in Charleston, S.C.
The Bucs won the doubles point after sweeping the doubles matches from the Spartans. Junior Pablo Sahagun (Cuernavaca, Mexico) and sophomore Alejandro Salazar (Arequipa, Mexico) of ETSU defeated Jason Varela and Marcio Torres of UNCG at No. 2 doubles, by a 9-8 (10-8) score. ETSU sophomores Diego Iglesias (Mar del Plata, Argentina) and Moises Serrano (Bucaramanga, Colombia) defeated UNCG's tandem of Tanner Hadden and Bo McWhorter at No. 3 doubles, 9-8 (7-4). The ETSU team of junior Marcos Pavlovich (Otamendi, Argentina) and senior Roberto Fernandez (Cuernavaca, Mexico) did not finish their match with Spartans Tony Mule and Paul Goode at No. 1 doubles.
The match went down to the wire, with the Bucs winning three out of six singles contests. ETSU's Pavlovich fell to UNCG's Tony Mule in a tough three set match at No. 1 singles, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. At No.2 singles, Fernandez of the Bucs picked up ETSU's first singles point by defeating Goode of the Spartans in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. UNCG won the next two points after Torres defeated Sahagun at No. 3 singles, 6-2, 6-4, and Varela won over Iglesias at No. 4, 6-0, 7-5.
The Bucs won the final two singles matches to win the match from the Spartans. ETSU's Salazar won a tough three-set match with UNCG's Haddon at No. 4 singles, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Serrano won the deciding match, a three and a half hour marathon, defeating UNCG's Niklas Hansson, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 6 singles.
ETSU runs their record to 16-7 on the season. UNC Greensboro closes their season with an 18-5 record.
The Buccaneers will return to action tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. at the Earle Tennis Center on campus of The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. as they face No. 1 seed Furman for the Southern Conference Men's Tennis Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. The matchup is a repeat of last year's final, won by the Paladins, 4-1.