CCU’s youth serves up rally for first-time father Powers

ccutennis-powersCoastal Carolina men’s tennis coach Chris Powers spent the offseason becoming a proud first-time father. On Friday, another new kid delivered a special moment for Powers and his Chanticleers.

CCU freshman Jabor Al-Mutawa fought back from a 4-0 deficit in the third set to clinch the match-winning point for Coastal Carolina in a 4-3 nail-biter against the UNC Greensboro Spartans that lasted more than five hours.

The Chanticleers (1-1) were down 3-2 late in the match before Philippe Tsangaridis rallied to win in three sets at No. 1 singles and Al-Mutawa closed out the match in the No. 5 slot.

Al-Mutawa, who suffered through cramps towards the end of the match, was forced to complete the third set with his teammates’ racquets after all of his had broken earlier in the contest.

“This was a crazy match to say the least,” said Powers, whose wife, Jenny, gave birth to Anderson Stephen Powers in November. “We never quit and pulled out a really good win. UNCG left it all out there as well. Overall it was just a really great match.”

UNCG struck first, winning two of the three doubles bouts to take the match’s first point.

Rick Timmerman and Garik Yedigarian, cruised to an 8-4 win in the No. 3 doubles slot, overtaking Nazhone Wilkins and Jimmy Roueche.

The Spartans hung on however, as Leo Christofides and Tsangaridis fell at No. 1, 8-5, and Ted Nilsson and Al-Mutawa were outmatched in the No. 2 position.

As play moved to singles, Nilsson tied the match for the Chants at 1-1 after defeating Daniel Mack in the No. 3 slot, 6-2, 6-0.

UNCG quickly regained the lead after Randy Phillips bested Timmerman, 7-5, 6-1 at No. 4, but Coastal managed to once again tie the match, with Yedigarian  posting a 6-2, 6-3, victory over James Dougherty at No. 2

The Spartans regained a 3-2 lead after the No. 6 singles duel which saw UNCG’s Murray best Christofides in a 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 decision.

With the match on the line, Tsangaridis and Al-Mutawa were able to grind out three-set victories that gave the final edge to the Chanticleers, who are the preseason favorites to repeat as Big South Conference champions.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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