Tusculum rallies to thrilling 5-4 win over Young Harris

Gabriel Yaguar clinched the winning point at No. 6 singles to rally Tusculum to a 5-4 win over Young Harris
Gabriel Yaguar clinched the winning point at No. 6 singles to rally Tusculum to a 5-4 win over Young Harris

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum men's tennis team rallied from a 4-2 deficit winning its final three singles matches to edge visiting Young Harris 5-4 Friday afternoon at the Nichols Tennis Complex.

Tusculum rookie Gabriel Yaguar completed the rally as he posted a 6-3, 6-3 win over Ignacio Ascarrunz at No. 6 singles to claim the deciding point and snap the Pioneers' (9-4) three-match losing streak.

Tusculum claimed the first point of the day as the No. 1 doubles duo of Tashique Kader and Yaguar defeated Alex Pavel and Guilherme Sergio 8-3 in pro sets.  But the Mountain Lions were victorious in the final two doubles matches and Ascarrunz and Javier Villar won 8-3 over Jorge Cervantes and David Akinpetide at the third flight.  The No. 2 doubles team of Mateo Besada and Tim Fleerkamp gave YHC a 2-1 lead with their 8-7 marathon win over Tusculum's Toby de Klerk and Yago Fernandez.

Villar made it 3-1 in favor of the Mountain Lions with his 7-6, 6-4 win over Kader at No. 4 singles. But Tusculum freshman Marco Meon trimmed the deficit back to 3-2 with his 7-6, 6-2 win over Pavel at top-flight singles.

One of the thrilling matches of the afternoon game at No. 2 singles between Sergio and Tusculum senior Kmetko.  Kmetko opened with a 6-1 win in the first set, but Sergio bounced back with a 6-1 decision in the second to send the match to a third and deciding frame. The contest went back and forth before Sergio rallied to a 7-6 win to claim the point and give the Mountain Lions a 4-2 advantage in the contest.

But shortly after that score went up, Fernandez completed his 6-4, 6-0 win over Besada at No. 3 singles and that was followed with Cervantes 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Fleerkamp at the fifth flight to level the match and set the table for Yaguar.

The result was Tusculum's first win over Young Harris since 2010.

The Pioneers return to South Atlantic Conference play on Sunday when they host Catawba for a 1 p.m. match at the Nichols Tennis Complex.