ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – Second-ranked Valdosta State claimed the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship, winning its second national title as it defeated No. 5 Barry 5-2 on Saturday morning at Sanlando Park.

The Blazers, who dropped a 5-4 decision at the 2010 championship to the Buccaneers, avenged last year’s loss and captured their first title since 2006. 

Blazers' Championship Run
VSU downs Columbus St. to reach title match
Valdosta St. sweeps St. Edward's
Blazers speed by Queens (N.Y.)
Championship Highlights:
Final | Semifinals | Quarterfinals | Round of 16
Interactive Bracket

Doubles action was reminiscent of the 2010 final as Valdosta State took two of three from the defending national champions.

Valdosta State’s No. 12-ranked pair of Philip Pakebusch and Luis Loeffler collected the Blazers’ opening point as they breezed past Barry’s No. 36-ranked tandem of Marco Mokrzycki and Quentin Vachez 8-2. Valdosta continued its impressive play as the No. 2 pair of Daniel Dueren and Christian Hansen upended the Bucs’ No. 5-ranked pairing of Emanuel Fraitzl and Max Wimmer 8-3 at the top flight.

Down 2-0, the Buccaneers staged a stirring comeback at No. 3 doubles to cut the lead in half going into singles. Finding themselves down 4-0 midway through the match, the team of Sergio Velez and Oliver Lemaitre stormed back to take eight of the next 10 points, including breaking Valdosta with the score 7-6, to collect the come-from-behind win.

This time, singles proved to be a different story. It what could only be described as the most grueling and intense singles matches of the tournament, the Blazers collected the necessary five points before a charging Barry squad could make a comeback.

Barry tied the match at two apiece when Romain Costamagne ousted Otto Lenhart in straight sets 6-1, 6-3. Regaining the lead, the Blazers’ Kutschenko edged Lamaitre in first set tiebreaker 7-6 (7-2) before downing his opponent 6-1 in the second to take the No.5 slot.

With Barry making a charge at Nos. 1 and 2 singles, Hansen sided the fourth point to the Blazers as he took out No. 35 Mokrzycki after a difficult first set tiebreaker 7-6 (6-4), 6-4. Meer moments after the fourth point, Valdosta State sealed the deal at No. 4 singles. The No. 30-ranked Loeffler, after edging Vachez in taxing first set 7-6 (8-6), sent a forehand down the line to clinch the 6-3 second set win and give the Blazers the trophy.

The national runner-up Buccaneers finished the 2011 campaign with a 22-8 overall record.