Columbus St. tops W. New Mexico
Cougars returning to national semifinals after convincing win
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – No. 10 Columbus State (19-4) is returning to the national semifinals as they defeated Western New Mexico (18-6), 5-1, Thursday morning from Sanlando Park.
Upending the Mustangs in NCAA quarterfinal action, the Cougars will see the No.2-ranked Valdosta State Blazers Friday morning for a semifinal showdown. First serve is set for 9:00 a.m.
Collecting a pair of doubles wins, Columbus followed up with a three consecutive singles victories to complete the victory.
No. 3 doubles got things rolling for the Cougars as the team of Andre Mordhorst and Pasqual Duttlinger breezed past Rodrigo Aleida and Jean Beniot Belin, 8-2. The 1-0 advantage grew to 2-0 as Filip Cojbasic and Martin Shishkov defeated Yair Banuelos and Henning Thrien in a tightly contested match, 8-2. The Mustangs did collect a critical point at top flight doubles as the 34th-ranked tandem of Emmanuel Mansah and Johan Weich upset the No. 4 team of Christophe Noblet and Gordan Divljak, 8-5.
However, it was the back half of the Cougars’ single lineup who pushed Columbus State into the semifinals. Handrik Paetzel blanked Benoit Belin, 6-0, 6-0 at No. 6 singles while Mordhorst controlled his match against Thrien, 6-1, 6-4, from the No. 4 spot. Holding a 4-1 lead, Shishkov battled Weich to a hard-fought win at the No. 5 flight 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
The Cougars win eliminates Western New Mexico from NCAA Tournament competition.