LYNCHBURG, Va. – The No. 2 seed Presbyterian College men’s tennis team put itself in a position to pull off the upset against top seeded Coastal Carolina on Saturday afternoon but the Chanticleers held on to take the match 4-3 and win the 2016 Big South Championship in Lynchburg, Va.
PC finishes the tournament as the runner up for the third time in the last five seasons. The title match was the closest yet for PC and was the first 4-3 Big South final since 2011.
The Blue Hose claimed the doubles point for the third straight match with victories on courts two and three. Second team All-Big South pair Danny Bruce and Ben Kelley claimed the match on court two, 6-4, for their eighth win of the season. Joel Roberts and Diego Manzanas then won on No. 3 for the third straight day, 6-2, to give PC the 1-0 advantage.
In singles, Coastal Carolina took the first match of the day with a 6-2, 6-3 win by Vuk Velickovic on court two to tie the match at 1-1. PC answered as Brandon Mills claimed a 6-2, 6-4 win on court two to give PC the 2-1 lead.
The Blue Hose extended the lead some time later with Diego Manzanas taking a three-set win at No. 5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. Coastal Carolina would quickly tie the match at 3-3 with three-set wins on courts one and six, leaving the match on court three to decide the match.
With the match tied, Bruce and Leme battled in the third set to determine not only the match but who would take home the Big South title. Bruce took the opening game of the set but Leme pulled in front 4-1, needing just two more to put it away. Bruce would battle his way all the way back and tie it a 4-4, but Leme would prevail by taking the final two games to take the set 6-4 and give CCU the 4-3 win.
The Blue Hose end the season with 14 wins, which includes eight against Big South opponents, under first-year head coach Patrick Fediuk. PC finished the regular season second in the Big South, its highest since winning the regular season title in 2014, with a 6-2 mark in conference. The Blue Hose saw four players reach double-digit victories in singles play this season.
Coastal Carolina 4, Presbyterian 3
1. AL-MUTAWA, Jabor (COASTALM) def. Alexander Lykou (PC) 1-6, 7-5, 6-0
2. VELICKOVIC, Vuk (COASTALM) def. Alejandro Bejar (PC) 6-2, 6-3
3. LEME, Pedro (COASTALM) def. Danny Bruce (PC) 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4
4. Brandon Mills (PC) def. SCHNEIDER, Sebastian (COASTALM) 6-2, 6-4
5. Diego Manzanas (PC) def. TIMMERMAN, Rick (COASTALM) 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
6. FARIA, Luiz (COASTALM) def. Ben Kelley (PC) 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
1. LEME, Pedro/VELICKOVIC, Vuk (COASTALM) vs. Alexander Lykou/Brandon Mills (PC) 4-4, unfinished
2. Danny Bruce/Ben Kelley (PC) def. FARIA, Luiz/TIMMERMAN, Rick (COASTALM) 6-4
3. Joel Roberts/Diego Manzanas (PC) def. AL-MUTAWA, Jabor/SCHNEIDER, Sebastian (COASTALM) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (2,4,5,1,6,3)