HOOVER, Ala. (April 24, 2021) – The Bucs are Southern Conference Champions for the third consecutive year! The ETSU Men’s Tennis team outlasted Furman in the tournament title match with a 4-2 win over the Paladins. This is the third consecutive SoCon Championship that ended with the Bucs handing the Paladins a 4-2 loss. With the win, ETSU improves to 13-7 on the season and earns the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
ETSU picked up a crucial point out of doubles play, winning two of the three doubles battles. After dropping the top doubles match, the Bucs evened the playing field as Dimitri Badra (Maracay, Venezuela) and Miguel Este (Caracas, Venezuela) upended Benjamin Cahill and Ivan Mitric, 6-3. The point was clinched from the No. 3 doubles slot as Thiago Pernas (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Juan Sebastian Zabala (Guayaquil, Ecuador) defeated Drew Singerman and Emil Westling, 6-2.
The Buccaneer lead doubled to 2-0 as the SoCon Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Juan Lugo (Maracay, Venezuela) cruised through Henrik Atlevi in the No. 3 singles position, 6-1, 6-0.
After Furman cut the gap to 2-1, Pernas delivered a critical win in the No. 4 singles slot with a straight-set win of his own. The young Argentina native defeated Westling in the opening set, 6-1, before besting the Furman competitor in the second set by the final of 6-3.
The Paladins trimmed the ETSU lead to 3-2, giving Furman a glimmer of hope in the championship match as James Roelofse defeated Milo Bargeron (Chistlehurst, England), 6-3, 7-5.
ETSU secured the final point out of the top singles position as the SoCon Freshman/Player of the Year delivered the celebratory victory. Badra dominated Mitric in the opening set by the score of 6-0. The second set had a different story as the ETSU redshirt-freshman went into a tiebreaker with Mitric, winning 7-6(8-6) in the second set to clinch the ETSU victory and another SoCon title.
The Bucs will now await the NCAA Men’s Tennis Selection Show to determine which regional the Blue & Gold will be headed to. The selection show will be held on Monday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on NCAA.com stream. The regionals will begin on either Friday, May 7 or Saturday, May 8.
Match Notes: ETSU 13-7; Furman 10-12
Order of Finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (3,5,4,6,1)
ETSU fans wanting to receive Buccaneer news, score updates, in-game promotions and much more sent to their mobile device can do so by signing up for “Buc Updates.” Click here to sign up today!
For more information on Buccaneer men’s tennis visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s tennis page.