Tennis: CCU nets Big South title; Saints knock off MA

ccuten-celebThe Coastal Carolina men’s tennis team rallied to even the match after trailing 3-1, and senior Pedro Leme held off a late surge from #2 Presbyterian’s Danny Bruce as the Chanticleers claimed their sixth Big South tournament championship in a thrilling 4-3 win Saturday at Liberty’s Cook Tennis Center.

Coastal faced an uphill battle after surrendering the doubles point and two of the first three singles points on courts four and five, but claimed the final three singles points from Jabor Al-Mutawa (No. 1), Luiz Faria (No. 6) and Leme (No. 3) to clinch the win and the title.

It is Coastal’s second tournament championship under head coach Chris Powers, and second in the last four seasons. Saturday’s match was also a rematch of the 2013 Big South Championship, in which the Chants defeated the Blue Hose 4-1 for the conference title.

With the win, Coastal earns the Big South’s automatic bid into the 2016 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship, set to begin with first-round action on May 14.

Presbyterian took control of the match early after winning the doubles point on courts three and two.

The No. 3 Blue Hose pairing of Joel Roberts and Diego Manzanas won 6-2 over Jabor Al-Mutawa and Sebastian Schneider, before Bruce and Ben Kelley finished the point with a 6-4 victory against Rick Timmerman and Luiz Faria at No. 2.

Vuk Velickovic, who claimed the match-winning point in Coastal’s 4-3 semifinal win over Liberty on Friday, evened the match at 1-1 with a straight-sets victory at No. 2 against Alejandro Bejar.

Brandon Mills (No. 4) and Manzanas (No. 5) gave PC its 3-1 lead after winning their respective singles matches.

Al-Mutawa sparked the Chanticleer comeback on the first court, topping Alexander Lykou 1-6, 7-5, 6-0.

Faria, also having lost his opening set, followed with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 6 over Kelley.

Leme fell in a close 6-7 (4-7) opening set, but responded 6-2 in the second. Leme appeared to have the match in hand after leading Bruce 4-1 in the third, though Bruce rallied to even the set 4-4. He would go no further, however, as Leme finished off the set 6-4 to seal the win for the Chants.

* Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach 8, Marboro  Academy 1: The Saints swept Marlboro Academy in singles in straight sets except for No. 2 Ian McCauley’s three-set tiebreaker.

Singles
1. Allen Butler(CA) defeats Brice Odom(MA) 6–0, 6–1
2. Ian McCauley(CA) defeats  Kyle Blair(MA) 7–6,3-6,7-3
3. Braden McCauley(CA) def  Luke Powers(MA) 6–2, 6–2
4. Tyler Underwood(CA)  Def  Chase Bruner(MA) 6–2, 6–1
5. Brett Bass(CA) def Bobby Jones(MA) 6–1, 6–2
6. Rawley Merchant(CA) defeats Hannon Herring(MA) 6–1, 6–4
Doubles
1. Ian  McCauley/Allen Butler(CA) defeat Brice Odom/Luke Powers(MA) 8–0
2. Braden McCauley/Tyler Underwood(CA) defeat Kyle Blair/Andrew Bennett(MA)
8-2
3. Chase Bruner/Bobby Jones(MA) defeat Brett Bass/Rawley Merchant(CA) 8–2

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