WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Presbyterian College men's tennis captured its first-ever Big South Championship with a 4-3 win over Campbell in Saturday’s title match at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem, N.C. It is the first Big South Tournament Title for PC in any sport and will be the first team to make an NCAA Tournament appearance since PC moved to Division I.
“I’m so proud of our guys,” said second-year head coach Patrick Fediuk. “This is all about them. They have worked so hard all year, coming to work day in and day out at practice and in competition. It is such an honor to coach these guys and to be the first-ever to win a championship.”
PC earns the Big South Tournament title in its fourth appearance in the title match, which included a very narrow loss a year ago. The Blue Hose entered the tournament as the top seed after winning its second Big South Regular Season Title two weeks ago.
“This win is for all the coaches and proud alums who took on the idea of FE (first ever),” Fediuk said. “They laid the groundwork for this to be able to happen.”
PC got the title match started by winning the doubles point again, taking the point in all three matches in the Big South Tournament. First team All-Big South pair Alexander Lykou and Brandon Mills picked up a 6-2 win on court two and Ben Kelley and Joel Roberts followed with 6-4 win on court one to give PC the 1-0 lead.
Campbell evened the match at 1-1, taking a 6-2, 6-1 victory on court one to start singles play. Alejandro Bejar made it 2-1 PC with a 6-4, 6-0 win on court five to win his 11th straight match. Campbell then took the lead with wins on courts two and four to pull in front 3-2 with two matches remaining.
PC proved resilient though, as Diego Manzanas battled back for a three-set victory at No. 3 after dropping the opening set, 6-3. The senior claimed the final two sets, 6-3, 6-3, to tie the match at 3-3 with No. 6 becoming the decisive match.
Freshman Jaime Castillo-Lopez showed his resiliency as well with a tough third set. The rookie took the first, 6-4, but dropped the second to CU’s Fernando Clemente, 6-3, to send it to a third. Castillo-Lopez faced a 3-1 deficit early in the frame but turned the tide back in his favor by winning the final five games of the set to take the match and give PC the 4-3 win for the Championship.
The Blue Hose wrap up tournament play with an 18-10 overall record and went 9-1 against Big South opponents this season between the regular season and the tournament.
PC will await its NCAA Tournament destination with the bracket set to be announced on May 2 at 5 p.m.
Presbyterian 4, Campbell 3
1. SCHAEFER, Lucas (CU) def. LYKOU, Alexander (PC) 6-2, 6-1
2. WERNER, Dustin (CU) def. MILLS, Brandon (PC) 6-0, 6-4
3. MANZANAS, Diego (PC) def. RAKITIN, Nicolas (CU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
4. SOLA, Gerard (CU) def. KELLEY, Ben (PC) 6-3, 6-4
5. BEJAR, Alexandro (PC) def. O’NEAL, Jonathan (CU) 6-4, 6-0
6. LOPEZ, Jaime (PC) def. CLEMENTE, Fernando (CU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
1. KELLEY, Ben/ROBERTS, Joel (PC) def. WERNER, Dustin/SCHWAB, Lorenz (CU) 6-4.
2. LYKOU, Alexander/MILLS, Brandon (PC) def. RAKITIN, Nicolas/SCHAEFER, Lucas (CU) 6-2
3. MANZANAS, Diego/LOPEZ, Jaime (PC) vs. SOLA, Gerard/O’NEAL, Jonathan (CU) unfinished