Saturday, March 1, 2014

Wilson, N.C.—The North Greenville men’s tennis team won its third Conference Carolinas match of the season on Saturday, picking up a closely contested 5-4 win over the Bulldogs of Barton College.

NGU got off to a good start in doubles play, taking two of three from the Bulldogs. Barton’s Rafael Ruiz, and Jake McCartney took the first doubles game 9-7 over North Greenville’s Jose Gomez and Rafael Lenz. Sergio Araujo Filho and Santiago Robles evened the tally at 1-1 with a 9-7 win in the second doubles spot, while Sjors van Eck and Marcelo Yshikawa continued their solid doubles season with another 9-7 win over Nick Genest and Yaxi Pintado.

The Crusaders held the 2-1 advantage heading into singles, but things got dicey for North Greenville, as Barton took the first three singles matches to take a 4-2 lead. Jose Gomez (6-1, 6-2), Juan Vargas (6-0, 6-0), and Rafael Lenz (6-2, 6-4) all fell victim to the Bulldogs, as Barton looked to take the #4 singles to earn at least a 5-5 lead. But an ever improving NGU team had other plans.

Sjors van Eck set the tone of the final three singles matches as he won his second game of the day with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Nick Genest. Jorge Padilla then fell victim in the fifth singles game, as Sergio Araujo Filho evened the overall tally at 4-4, with a 6-4, 6-3 win, forcing a winner take all sixth singles frame between Santiago Robles and Daniel Radu.

Santiago Robles would come up big for North Greenville for the second time this week, winning a three set thriller 3-6, 7-5, and 6-4, to hand NGU its second conference win of the week. The win over the Bulldogs improved NGU to 3-1 in conference play. NGU is already two wins better than the 2013 conference tally of 1-9. The Crusaders will look to add another win to the conference total on March 5th, when they travel to Limestone College.