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Johnson City, Tenn. -- The East Tennessee State mens tennis team advanced to the championship game of the 2001 Southern Conference Championship with a 4-2 win against UNC Greensboro today in Charleston, S.C.
The third-seeded Bucs were in trouble after losing the doubles point by falling at No. 2 and No. 3. The Bucs captured four singles matches and avenged the regular-season loss to the second-seeded Spartans.
Senior Gustavo Gomez clinched the win with an epic three-set victory. After capturing the first set 7-5 and falling in the second set, 6-4, Gomez knew he was in for a battle with UNCGs Tony Mule. The two were tied 5-5 in the final set when Gomez broke serve and took a one-game lead. The All-Conference performer sealed the match by serving out and taking the third set 7-5.
Sophomore Marcos Pavlovich fought off leg cramps in a three-set battle at No. 2 singles. Pavlovich dropped the first set 6-2 but responded with 7-5 and 6-4 wins. Freshman Pablo Sahagun (No. 4) and junior Roberto Fernandez (No. 5) also captured singles wins.
"After losing the doubles point it took a very gutsy performance by our guys," head coach Dave Mullins said. "This team laid it all on the line in singles."
With the win, ETSU advances to the Southern Conference Championship against top-seeded Furman. The Bucs and Paladins will begin at 2 p.m. on The Donald C. Bunch Courts. ETSU defeated the Paladins, 5-2, on April 11 in Johnson City.
1. Gustavo Gomez (ETSU) def. Tony Mule 7-5, 4-6, 7-5
2. Marcos Pavlovich (ETSU) def. Nigel Mitten 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
3. Juan Yannuzzi (ETSU) vs. John Clark 6-7, 6-4, 4-1 DNF
4. Pablo Sahagun (ETSU) def. Diego Goya 6-3, 6-4
5. Roberto Fernandez (ETSU) def. Paul Goode 7-5, 6-3
6. Tanner Haddon (UNCG) def. Francisco Diaz 6-3, 6-3
1. Mule/Marcio Torres (UNCG) vs. Gomez/Fernandez 6-5 DNF
2. Bo McWhorter/Haddon (UNCG) def. Pavlovich/Yannuzzi 8-3
3. Mitten/Goya (UNCG) def. Sahagun/Dian 8-3