GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University men's tennis team will host Anderson University in the quarterfinal round of the South Atlantic Conference Championship tournament on Monday at 2 p.m. at the Nichols Tennis Complex.
The fourth-seeded Pioneers (13-5, 7-3 SAC) defeated the fifth-seeded Trojans (12-7, 6-4 SAC) at home on March 2 in their regular-season matchup. Tusculum enters the week ranked 32nd in the ITA Division II team rankings, while Anderson was ranked as high as 47th earlier this season.
Tusculum's singles lineup is anchored by sophomore Manuel Almeida and junior Yago Fernandez. Both Almeida and Fernandez went 8-2 in singles during conference matches this season, with Fernandez going 3-0 at flight two and 4-2 at flight three and Almeida going 5-1 at flight four. Sophomore Gabriel Yaguar was 9-1 in SAC action for the Pioneers, winning each of his final nine matches.
Freshman Tomas Almeida joined the lineup in midseason and went 5-1 in SAC matches, with a 4-1 record at flight two. Freshman Vadzim Raitsou was 5-4 in singles for the Pioneers in conference matches, while sophomore David Akinpetide had a 1-9 record while playing mostly at flight one.
Tusculum has used several different combinations in doubles, with Fernandez and freshman Jacco Mensinga going 5-4 primarily at flight three. Yaguar and freshman Tim Klee went 1-3 at flight one, and Manuel Almeida teamed with senior Fabian Paier for a 3-1 conference record.
Anderson is led by junior Ignacio Bidegain, who is ranked 20th in this week's ITA singles rankings and has a 16-4 overall record. The doubles team of sophomore Spencer Brown and freshman Adam Kush has a 12-5 overall record and is 10th in the current ITA rankings.
The winner of Monday's quarterfinal match will advance to the semifinals against the winner of the match between top-seeded Wingate and eighth-seeded Catawba. The semifinals will be played Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Rock Hill Tennis Center, with the championship at 9 a.m. Friday.
South Atlantic Conference Men's Tennis Championship
Quarterfinals - Monday, April 15
No. 8 Catawba at No. 1 Wingate, 2:30 p.m.
No. 5 Anderson at No. 4 Tusculum, 2:00 p.m.
No. 7 Newberry at No. 2 Queens, 2:00 p.m.
No. 6 Coker at No. 3 Lenoir-Rhyne, 2:00 p.m.
Semifinals - Thursday, April 18 (Rock Hill, S.C.)
Catawba/Wingate winner vs. Anderson/Tusculum winner, 9 a.m.
Newberry/Queens winner vs. Coker/Lenoir-Rhyne winner, 9 a.m.
Finals - Friday, April 19 (Rock Hill, S.C.)
Semifinal winners, 9 a.m.