CLEVELAND, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University men's tennis team won the final two singles matches and pulled out a 4-3 victory over Lee University Wednesday afternoon at the DeVos Tennis Center.
The Pioneers (5-1) trailed 1-0 after doubles, but tied the match at 2-2 after both David Akinpetide and Frank Bonacia came back from a set down to earn three-set victories. Down 3-2 with two matches to go, Vadzim Raitsou and Leon Huck each came up with wins for the Pioneers, with Huck winning a 7-4 tiebreaker in the third set for a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 win over Antonio Pons at flight five. For Huck, it was the second straight match that he earned the deciding singles point to give the Pioneers the match victory, following a 4-3 win at Newberry in the South Atlantic Conference opener on Saturday.
Tusculum lost two of the three doubles matches to drop the team point to Lee, with Gabriel Yaguar and Jacco Mensinga winning 6-3 over Nico Ramirez and Drew Johnston at flight three for the Pioneers in the first completed match. However, the Flames (2-2) won the other two contests by identical 6-4 scores to go up 1-0 in the match.
In singles, the Pioneers went down 2-0 before Akinpetide rallied for a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, win over Ramirez at flight two and Bonacia beat Cristian Pons 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 at flight three. A third-set tiebreaker went the way of the Flames at flight four to put Tusculum on the brink, but Raitsou claimed a 6-3, 6-1 win over Johnston at flight six to even the match and set up Huck for the clinch.
The Pioneers will return home to face Young Harris on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Nichols Tennis Complex.