LOUISVILLE, Ky. -– The No. 2-ranked University of West Florida men’s tennis team (26-2) continued its winning ways and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division II Men’s Tennis Championships this morning with a 5-0 blanking of No. 42 Nebraska-Kearney in Louisville.
The Argos have won their past 17 matches. UWF will face No. 12 Ouachita Baptist at 4 p.m. ET Thursday in the quarterfinals.
The match was originally scheduled to be played at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday. However, rain delayed the start of the match. The teams were introduced and players were warming up when the rain began. Play was delayed for an hour and 15 minutes. Once the rain stopped, the courts were cleared of water and the match was started. Doubles got underway, and West Florida took early leads at all three positions. Lightning was detected in the area and play was halted again at 6:30 p.m. ET. Shortly after 7 p.m. ET, the decision was made to suspend play until this morning.
The Top Gun Tennis Academy, where the match was being played, does not have lights.
On Thursday, play resumed in doubles, with UWF leading all three matches. West Florida got on the scoreboard early as the No. 2-ranked duo of Bruno Savi and Kevin Ducros quickly disposed of Yeswanth Nadella and Josh Raymond 8-1, at the No. 1 position. UWF took a 2-0 lead as Argonauts Mike Lue and Domenico Sano dropped just one game in their 8-1 victory against Jack Nicholson and Revel Yehezkia at the No. 3 line. In the final match to finish, UWF’s No. 18-ranked doubles tandem of Leandro Ferreira and Andrey Pozhidaev tallied an 8-4 victory against Arin Enge and John Steinke at No. 2.
UWF took a 3-0 lead into singles play. At the No. 2 position, Savi, who is the No. 11-ranked singles player in the nation, blanked Nadella, 6-0, 6-0, bringing UWF within one point of the overall victory. Savi has won his past 15 matches. At the No. 4 line, UWF freshman Elio Latela took a 4-1 lead against UNK freshman Nicholson in the first set and later won the set, 6-1. In his second set, Latela went up 3-0. He later advanced the lead to 5-1 but dropped the next game. Latela bounced back to win the following game and the match, 6-1, 6-2, punching UWF’s ticket into the quarterfinals. Latela is 18-1 this season in singles. Once the team victory was clinched, all other matches were halted. The Argos had recorded first set victories at all four remaining matches.
West Florida advances to the quarterfinals. UWF will face No. 12-ranked Ouachita Baptist at 4 p.m. eastern today at Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville. Ouachita Baptist won the inaugural Great American Conference championship and is 15-6 overall. The Tigers defeated No. 43 Bluefield State, 5-0, this morning to advance to the quarterfinals.