LOUISVILLE, Ky. – No. 2-ranked West Florida (27-2) battled its opponents and delays on Thursday to advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships for the first time since 2008. This morning, after an overnight weather delay, UWF defeated No. 42 Nebraska Kearney, 5-0, in the Round of 16. Later, after being delayed an hour due to other matches going long, the Argos tallied a 6-1 victory against No. 12 Ouachita Baptist in the quarterfinals.
“You start a match one day, and then you have to come out and play the match the next day. But, I think we came out and played well,” said UWF head coach Derrick Racine. “Then, to come right back and play another match against a very good team in Ouachita Baptist is always tough. But, the guys held in there. I think we’re looking good.”
In the quarterfinals, UWF defeated No. 12 Ouachita Baptist, 6-1. OBU, the Great American Conference champions, defeated No. 43 Bluefield State, 5-0, earlier Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals.
West Florida won two of the three doubles matches. At the No. 1 position, UWF’s No. 2-ranked duo of Bruno Savi and Kevin Ducros easily tallied an 8-0 victory against Heige Knuth and Marvin Muller. The Argos went up 2-0 as the No. 18-ranked doubles tandem of Andrey Pozhidaev and Leandro Ferreira recorded an 8-4 victory against Ernesto Martinez and Kenny Brasil at the No. 2 line. Ouachita Baptist’s lone doubles win came at the No. 3 spot where Ramon Vazquez and Marko Boskovic handed Argonauts Mike Lue and Domenico Sano an 8-6 loss.
The Argos took a 2-1 lead into singles play. Savi once again was the first Argo to win, recording a 6-3, 6-2 victory against No. 35-ranked Boskovic at the No. 2 singles position. Savi, who is the No. 11 singles player in the nation, has won 16 straight matches. At the No. 6 line, Sano blanked Teodor Valentin, 6-0, in his first set and tallied a 6-2 win in his second set to put the Argos up, 4-1. Sano is 15-5 overall this season. With no lights at the EP Tom Sawyer State Park courts, the remaining Argos battled their opponents and fading daylight. With simultaneous match points by Ducros and Pozhidaev, UWF clinched a 6-1 overall victory. At No. 1, No. 7-ranked Ducros needed a second set tiebreaker to defeat Knuth, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3). No. 20-ranked Pozhidaev dropped his first set but battled back to defeat Brasil, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 3. With the match clinched, the remaining matches were halted.