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Men's Tennis Clips No. 3 Coastal Carolina to Advance to Big South Title Match, 4-3


ASHEVILLE, N.C. – For the second day in a row, the Presbyterian College men’s tennis team used a third-set victory in a deciding match to advance at the Big South Conference Championship tournament. William O'Connell (Nadi, Fiji) played the role of hero on Friday, winning a third-set tiebreaker to give No. 7 PC a victory over No. 3 Coastal Carolina in the semifinals and advance the Blue Hose to Saturday’s championship match, 4-3.

PC will play top-seeded Radford in the championship game tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the Asheville Racquet Club, located at the Crowne Plaza Resort.

The Blue Hose (13-15) took the doubles point from Coastal Carolina (14-6) and won two of its three singles victories in the final set.

With the dual match tied at 3-3, O’Connell found himself locked in a third set battle against Yusuke Kusuda at the third flight. The Blue Hose junior kept a steady lead on his Chanticleer opponent before Kusuda knotted up the set, 6-6. O’Connell then gutted out a 10-8 win in the tiebreaker to take the match, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8).

PC rallied from a 3-2 dual match deficit thanks to a Zachary Sprouse (Hilton Head, S.C.) win at the fifth flight against Matias Di Pasquale. In a match similar to his historic Friday win, the senior recovered from a 3-6 first set loss by taking the second set via tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-3), before sealing the result with a 6-3 third set victory.

PC’s first singles match decision came at the top flight. Grayson Mills (Lilburn, Ga.) cruised to a win over Danny Heidecker in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.

Coastal Carolina made a spirited run at advancing, winning three singles matches of its own. Leo Christofides knocked off Rafael Berghaus (Offenbach, Germany) at the second flight, 6-2, 7-5, while Garik Yedigarian topped Andrew Brigham (Birmingham, England) at the fourth flight, 6-2, 6-0.

John Karle needed three sets to edge Gonzalo Asis (Madrid, Spain), 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.

The Blue Hose captured the doubles point with a pair of top-flight wins by 8-5 margins. Berghaus and Mills dispatched Heidecker and Kusuda while Brigham and O’Connell topped Di Pasquale and Yedigarian.

 Singles competition
1. MILLS, Grayson (PCM) def. HEIDECKER, Danny (COASTALM) 6-1, 6-1
2. CHRISTOFIDES, Leo (COASTALM) def. BERGHAUS, Rafael (PCM) 6-2, 7-5
3. O'CONNELL, William (PCM) def. KUSUDA, Yusuke (COASTALM) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8)
4. YEDIGARIAN, Garik (COASTALM) def. BRIGHAM, Andrew (PCM) 6-2, 6-0
5. SPROUSE, Zachary (PCM) def. DI PASQUALE, Matias (COASTALM) 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
6. KARLE, John (COASTALM) def. ASIS, Gonzalo (PCM) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. BERGHAUS, Rafael/MILLS, Grayson (PCM) def. HEIDECKER, Danny/KUSUDA, Yusuke (COASTALM) 8-5
2. BRIGHAM, Andrew/O'CONNELL, William (PCM) def. DI PASQUALE, Matias/YEDIGARIAN, Garik (COASTALM) 8-5
3. BARR, Sam/KARLE, John (COASTALM) vs. CROCKER, Nathan/SNEAD, Edward (PCM) 4-6, unfinished

Women's lacrosse's Katy Richardson (Lake Worth, Fla.) and baseball's David Sauer (Irmo, S.C.) were named Presbyterian College's Female and Male Athletes of the Week for accomplishments for the week ending March 15.