Pioneers fall to Wingate 5-2 in SAC semifinals

Pioneers fall to Wingate 5-2 in SAC semifinals

COLUMBIA, S.C. --- Wingate advanced to the South Atlantic Conference Men's Tennis Championship finals with a 5-2 victory over Tusculum in a semifinal match Friday afternoon at the Cayce Tennis Center.

The 10th-ranked Bulldogs (18-5) were seeded second in the championship field will play for the SAC title at noon on Sunday, while the 35th-ranked Pioneers, who were seeded sixth in the tournament, saw their season end with a record of 15-8.

The Bulldogs opened the match with a sweep of flight-one doubles, as Daniel Belsito and Josh DuToit shut out Yago Fernandez and Toby de Klerk by an 8-0 score. Wingate's lead grew to 2-0 as Matthew Jones and Josep Canyadell defeated Gabriel Yaguar and Jorge Cervantes 8-6 at flight three, but Tusculum came back to grab a point at flight two as Marco Meon and Eduardo Munoz beat Duncan Addison and Enrico Giacomini by a score of 8-5.

In singles, SAC Player of the Year Belsito posted a 6-2, 6-1 at over Meon at flight one to give Wingate a 3-1 lead, but Cervantes got the point back for the Pioneers with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Giacomini at flight four. The Bulldogs went ahead 4-2 at flight six as Tamir Geva defeated David Akinpetide 6-4, 6-1, and clinched the match at flight five as DuToit won 6-3, 6-3 over Yaguar.

The two unfinished matches were each tied at one set apiece when the victory was clinched for the Bulldogs, with the Pioneers' Tomas Kmetko facing Jones at flight two and Fernandez battling Canyadell at flight three.