#31 Pioneers drop 5-4 heartbreaker at #14 Wingate

#31 Pioneers drop 5-4 heartbreaker at #14 Wingate

WINGATE, N.C. --- Wingate won the final singles match in three sets as the 14th-ranked Bulldogs edged 31st-ranked Tusculum 5-4 in South Atlantic Conference men's tennis action Monday afternoon.

The Bulldogs (14-5, 7-1 SAC) split the six singles matches with the Pioneers (13-6, 4-4 SAC), but winning two of three doubles pro sets gave Wingate the point needed to claim the victory and remain tied in the loss column with Queens atop the SAC standings. All six of Tusculum's losses have come to teams ranked at some point during the season by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, with three by 5-4 scores. Two of the 5-4 losses to ranked teams came on consecutive days, following the Pioneers' 5-4 setback to Queens at home on Sunday.

Tusculum earned a point at flight two doubles as Toby de Klerk and Yago Fernandez teamed for an 8-6 win over Duncan Addison and Enrico Giacomini. Wingate won the other two matches, including an 8-7 victory at flight three, to carry a 2-1 lead into singles.

The Pioneers gained momentum in singles, as Tomas Kmetko beat Matthew Jones 7-5, 6-1 at flight two and Fernandez defeated Josep Canyadell 6-3, 7-6 at flight three. Tashique Kader outlasted Giacomini 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 to give Tusculum its fourth point, but Wingate prevailed at flights five and six, the latter coming by a 6-1 score in the third and deciding set.

Tusculum will regroup before it plays its third match in three days on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. on the road at Carson-Newman.