BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The Presbyterian College men’s tennis team’s semifinal match on Friday came down to the wire, but the Campbell Camels grabbed two late wins to topple the regular season champion Blue Hose at the Big South Conference Championship presented by Musco Lighting on the campus of Gardner-Webb, 4-3.
Top-seeded PC sees its season end at 25-7, a school Division I record for wins in a season. No. 4 Campbell improves to 13-8 and will face No. 2 Winthrop in Saturday’s championship match.
Campbell took a quick doubles point. At No. 3, Marthinus Visser and Jean-Marc Krone bested Grayson Mills (Lilburn, Ga.) and Diego Manzanas (Madrid, Spain) in an 8-1 result while Fernando Guillen and Adrien Rossignon topped Rafael Berghaus (Offenbach, Germany) and Joel Roberts (Summerville, S.C.) at No. 1, 8-4.
Manzanas roared back in singles play at the fifth flight, as the Freshman of the Year blew past Rossingnon in a nearly flawless 6-0, 6-0 decision. The victory tied the dual match at 1-1 and gave Manzanas sole possession of the PC Division I record for freshman singles wins in a season, at 20.
Berghaus then grabbed a victory at No. 3 over Steven Billington. The senior dispatched the Camel in straight sets to put PC in front, 6-4, 7-5.
Campbell pull back even with a win at No. 2 as Visser squeezed past Roberts, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) to make it a 2-2 dual match.
Mills exacted a bit of revenge at No. 1. His opponent, Fernando Guillen, had been the only Big South player to defeat the Player of the Year this season and Mills returned the favor with a gutsy win at the top flight, 7-6, (9-7), 4-6, 6-2. The result marked Mills’s 23rd of the season, setting a new school Division I record.
Mills’s win gave PC a 3-2 lead with courts No. 4 and No. 6 still in play. Campbell would take both, however, in remarkably close three-set decisions. Dominik Kaniewski edged Danny Bruce (Marietta, Ga.) in a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 match at the fourth flight minutes before Rik Van Gerwen slipped by Gonzalo Asis (Madrid, Spain) in a 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 marathon.
The Blue Hose captured their first-ever Big South Conference regular season championship in 2014 and set numerous records while winning the Big South Player of the Year (Mills), Freshman of the Year (Manzanas) and Coach of the Year (Adam Herendeen) awards.
1. MILLS, Grayson (PCM) def. Fernando Guillen (CAMM) 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 6-2
2. Marthinus Visser (CAMM) def. ROBERTS, Joel (PCM) 7-5, 7-6 (7-5)
3. BERGHAUS, Rafael (PCM) def. Steven Billington (CAMM) 6-4, 7-5
4. Dominik Kaniewski (CAMM) def. BRUCE, Danny (PCM) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5
5. MANZANAS, Diego (PCM) def. Adrien Rossignon (CAMM) 6-0, 6-0
6. Rik Van Gerwen (CAMM) def. ASIS, Gonzalo (PCM) 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4
1. Fernando Guillen/Adrien Rossignon (CAMM) def. BERGHAUS, Rafael/ROBERTS, Joel (PCM) 8-4
2. KELLEY, Ben/MILLER, Ryan (PCM) vs. Steven Billington/Dominik Kaniewski (CAMM) 6-5, unfinished
3. Marthinus Visser/Jean-Marc Krone (CAMM) def. MILLS, Grayson/MANZANAS, Diego (PCM) 8-1