ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -- The perfect season for West Florida continued on Friday, as the Argonauts defeated Armstrong Atlantic 5-2 in the NCAA national semifinal at Sanlando Park. The Argonauts will face Hawaii Pacific in the national championship match at 1 p.m. ET Saturday.
The national championship match appearance will be the fifth in school history for UWF, and the Argos will be looking for their third national championship. The first two national championships by UWF in 2004 and '05 were won at Sanlando Park, the same location as this year’s national tournament.The win against Armstrong on Friday was extra meaningful for UWF (28-0), as the Argonauts were defeated by the Pirates in the NCAA finals in 2012 and the semifinals in '13.
“Today was a typical West Florida-Armstrong match,” UWF head coach Derrick Racine said. “All the players gave it 100 percent on both sides, and the guys were fighting for each point.”
The Argos went up 2-1 in doubles play to start the match, picking up victories at the No. 1 and 2 spots. The team of Bruno Savi and Tony Rajaobelina defeated the Armstrong team of Jaan Kononov and Pedro Scocuglia at the No. 1 spot by a score of 8-5. Alex Peyrot and Felipe Frattini also picked up an 8-5 win, defeating Ignacio Hernandez and Damian Okrutny at No. 2. The Pirates claimed their first point at No. 3 doubles, as Luca Cerin and Pablo Gor defeated the Argos’ duo of Domenico Sano and Elio Latella 8-4.
Singles play was evenly matched, as five of the six matches went into three sets and three needed first-set tiebreakers. The first singles point decided was at No. 5, as Felipe Frattini defeated Luca Cerin 6-2, 6-4. The Pirates claimed a point at the No. 2 spot, as Jaan Kononov defeated Tony Rajaobelina 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-0 to narrow UWF’s lead to 3-2.
The Argos clinched the 5-2 victory with wins at the Nos. 3 and 1 spots, in that order. Alex Peyrot outlasted Ignacio Hernandez 7-6 (7-2), 4-6, 6-1 at the No. 3 spot, and Bruno Savi came back to defeat Pedro Scocuglia 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-0 at the No. 1 spot. Savi, who is undefeated this season, claimed the clinching win on his birthday.
“It was a great match today,” Savi said. “Today was the best birthday present you could ask for, especially clinching the win. It’s so good to see your teammates running to you on the court to celebrate. It’s the best feeling ever.”