CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College men’s tennis team concluded its fall season after competing in four tournaments, ending with the Charleston Invite from November 13-15. The team had success throughout the fall against strong competition, including several teams from the ACC.
“This is probably one of the best fall seasons we have had in my time here,” said head coach Adam Herendeen. “Our guys have had some really solid results, but more importantly, I have seen each of our guys developing on a daily basis. I am very pleased with how our team is progressing and the next six weeks are going to be very important for our preparation for the spring season. We are already eager to get going!”
The Blue Hose opened fall play at the South Carolina Collegiate Championships, hosted by Furman in Greenville, S.C. Brandon Mills and Diego Manzanas highlighted the singles play in the three-day event, while, as a team, PC players went 3-1 against Clemson and combined to go 6-2 versus Wofford and Furman players.
Mills advanced to the semifinals with wins over Clemson’s Robert Dudley and Furman’s Alex Steryous and Cameron Green. Mills was the lone player not from the University of South Carolina to advance to the semis. Manzanas won the consolation bracket with four straight wins, including a 4-6, 6-2, 10-8 decision over Wofford’s Andrew Graham in the semifinal and a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Clemson’s Dudley in the final.
PC then traveled to the 49ers Invitational in Charlotte, N.C., from October 7-9. Danny Bruce claimed the top spot in the top flight of singles, while Ben Kelley and Joel Roberts finished first in the top flight of doubles.
Bruce went undefeated in the round robin format with a 3-0 record. He defeated conference foe Jabor Al-Mutawa from Coastal Carolina, 7-6 (4), 6-3, in his opening match, before topping Richmond’s Canyon Teague, 7-5, 6-1, and Charlotte’s Sam Rice, 6-4, 6-3.
Kelly and Roberts also went undefeated in the round robin format with a 3-0 mark. The pair defeated Coastal Carolina’s Schneider and Al-Mutawa, 6-3, to open the tournament. They then topped Richmond’s Aronson and Felisa, 6-4, ahead of a 6-2 victory over Charlotte’s Martin and Pare.
A week later, the Blue Hose competed in the USTA/ITA Carolina Regional in Cary, N.C. Kelley and Roberts again had a strong showing, becoming the first pair in PC history to advance to the quarterfinals at the regional event. Bruce also had another strong showing, going 3-1 in singles plays, while the team went 6-2 overall with a 3-1 record against players from ACC teams.
Kelley and Roberts opened play a 6-4, 6-1 win over Duke’s Dejoy and Lapidus. The pair then defeated North Carolina’s Gores and Murray, 6-3, 6-2, to advance to the third round. They continued the run with 7-5, 6-4 victory over UNC Wilmington’s Leskinen and Van der Burgh, before eventually falling to NC State’s Dempster and Horton, ranked No. 41 nationally, 5-7, 7-5, 8-10.
On the singles side, Bruce won three matches after dropping his opening match. He defeated Davidson’s Shamael Chaudhry, 6-2, 6-2, in his opening match, before knocking off NC State’s Ian Dempster, 7-5, 7-5, the following day. He wrapped up the tournament with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Coastal Carolina’s Pedro Leme.
Lastly, the Blue Hose wrapped up its fall season with a very strong effort at the Charleston Invite. PC players won four of the six flights in the tournament, including three of four on the singles side. Alejandro Bejar finished a top flight one on the singles side, the first flight championship of his career, while also claiming the flight two doubles championship with Manzanas. Alexander Lykou and Mills each took home flight championships as well in the round robin format.
Both Bejar and Mills went undefeated in their respective flights, each going 3-0 to finish off the fall season in strong fashion. Lykou fell in his opening match but rallied to take the next two, including a 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 victory in his final match against Rodrigo Encinas from College of Charleston. Manzanas and Bejar won each of their three matches by scores of 6-0, 6-3, and 6-2, respectively.
The Blue Hose will open the 2016 season on January 13 at Georgia Tech.