Chants sweep past Flames into Big South semifinals

ccutennis-backhandThe Coastal Carolina men’s tennis team is making its third consecutive trip to the semifinals of the Big South Men’s Tennis Championship after downing Liberty 4-0 in Thursday’s quarterfinal match.

The Chanticleers held a wire-to-wire lead, grabbing the doubles point early and claiming the first three singles matches.

“With this tournament being so wide open, we knew today was going to be close and tomorrow is going to be close,” said Chanticleer head coach Chris Powers after the win. “I was really happy with the guys, we’ve taken our share of lumps this year and honestly I think we played our best tennis of the year today.  Winthrop is very fiery and they are going to be really up to this match, but so are we and we are looking forward to the match.”

Coastal now turns its attention to Friday’s semifinal match with No. 2 Winthrop. The Chanticleers fell 5-2 at Winthrop earlier in the season, but will look to carry momentum from their three-match win streak into Friday’s contest.

The Chants got off to a good start against Liberty, picking up wins on the first and second doubles courts to take the match’s opening point.

Coastal’s second pairing of Garik Yedigarian and Renan Samed struck first, downing Liberty’s pair of Stan Vaughan and Alejandro Llamas 8-3. Philippe Tsangaridis and Leo Christofides followed up with an 8-4 win at No. 1, besting Dillon Segur and Egon Samaai to clinch the doubles point.

The No. 3 doubles match went unfinished with Liberty’s Shea Thomas and Guillem Secanell leading Ted Nilsson and Jabor Al-Mutawa 5-4.

The Chants quickly added on to their lead as play shifted to singles, getting a point at No. 6 singles from sophomore Hunter Whalen, who downed Llamas 6-0, 6-1.

Christofides gave the Chants a commanding 3-0 lead at No. 5 where he defeated Stan Vaughan in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.

Coastal’s relentless singles attack continued on the third court, where Yedigarian clinched the match-winning point in straight sets over Jorge Azuero. After cruising to a 6-1 decision in the first set, Yedigarian was forced to battle Azuero to a 7-6 tiebreaker in the second to close out the match.

Friday’s match against Winthrop will begin at 10 a.m. in Boiling Springs, N.C. on the campus of Gardner-Webb.

Photo courtesy of Big South Conference

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