Limestone beats Lincoln Memorial for first NCAA tournament win
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Two previous trips to the NCAA Division II tournament resulted in two losses, but the 2013 edition of Limestone (19-7, 9-1 CC) made sure that would not be the case this year as they raced past No. 9-seed Lincoln Memorial (14-6, 7-2 SAC) 5-1 in the first round of the Division II Men's Tennis Tournament in Savannah, Ga.
The victory sets the stage for what is likely the Saints toughest match in program history as they will face No. 1 and current defending national champion Armstrong Atlantic (22-1, 10-0 PBC) on Sunday.
LMU took the early lead with an 8-3 win at No. 3 by Gabriel Martins and Guilherme Rocha over junior Daniel Lopez and senior Austin McAlister before Limestone roared to life. Sophomore Lucas Guinski and junior Antoine Le Dore claimed an 8-6 decision at No. 2 to even the match.
The No. 11 nationally ranked tandem of seniors Carlos Yanes and Rafael Ferla gave them a 2-1 lead with an 8-6 victory. That victory now puts them at an incredible 25-1 at No. 1 doubles on the year.
Freshman Benji Lascari Diaz made short work of Martins at No. 5 singles with a 6-1, 6-1 victory to push the lead to 3-1 before Le Dore used his aggressive game to bludgeon an identical 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 4, putting the Saints on the cusp of their first NCAA tournament victory. It would be Ferla that would clinch it as he completed a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 2 against Will Sparks to lock up the 5-1 victory.
With the win, the Saints move past two previous NCAA losses. In 2009 they dropped a 5-3 decision to Conference Carolinas foe No. 20 Lees-McRae and fell 5-2 to No. 16 Flagler in 2010.