Thursday, March 20, 2014

Greer, S.C.—The North Greenville men’s tennis team inched closer to the .500 mark on the season Thursday night, as the Crusaders earned a tough fought 5-4 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne in late week non-conference action.

The Crusaders got off to a quick start, taking two of three from the Bears in the doubles competition. The Bears grabbed the first point of the day, earning an 8-6 decision over NGU’s Jose Gomez and Rafael Lenz. NGU would lock down the last two doubles games of the day, as Sergio Araujo Filho and Santiago Robles evened the overall tally at 1-1 with an 8-4 win in second double’s position while Sjors van Eck and Marcelo Yshikawa continued their solid partnership with an 8-3 win to give the Crusaders a 2-1 lead heading into singles play.

The two wins in doubles play would prove crucial for the Crusaders in the long run, as the two squads would go on to split in the singles match play. North Greenville picked up back to back wins from Rafael Lenz (6-3/6-4) and Sjors van Eck (7-5/6-2), giving NGU a 4-2 lead after the Bears opened singles play with a 6-4/6-2 win over Castillo.

LR would follow up the North Greenville wins with a pair of its own triumphs, earning a 7-5/6-3 win over Sergio Araujo Filho, and a hard fought 5-7/6-4/10-8 win over Juan Vargas. The back-to-back wins over NGU evened the score a 4-4 while also putting Santiago Robles in a familiar “winner-take all” singles finale. Santiago Robles would once again come through for the Crusaders, cruising to a 6-2/6-2 win, earning North Greenville its sixth overall win of the 2014 season.

The Crusaders are now 6-8 overall on the season, and 3-2 in Conference Carolinas play. NGU will continue league play on Saturday on the road at Belmont Abbey College. The battle of the two schools, both nicknamed the Crusaders is scheduled for a high noon first serve in Belmont, North Carolina.