Wingate Rallies for 7-2 victory Over Newberry
Wingate, N.C.----For the second time in two days, the Wingate University men’s tennis team rallied from a 2-1 doubles deficit for a South Atlantic Conference victory. On Wednesday, the Bulldogs clinch at least a share of the 2012 SAC regular season title with a 7-2 triumph over Newberry College at the WU Tennis Complex.
Wingate is 14-5 overall and 8-0 in the SAC as the Bulldogs win their second consecutive league title. The Newberry Wolves are 12-11 overall and 3-5 in the SAC. The Bulldogs visit Mars Hill College Wednesday, April 11 for their final SAC regular season match. First serve is slated for 2 p.m.
Fittingly, Wingate senior Drew Owen (Kitchener, Ontario) gave the hosts the lead for good in his final SAC home match. Owen rallied for a 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-2 victory over Newberry sophomore Vinicius Botelho (Fortaleza, Brazil) at the number two singles flight to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 edge. Owen is 4-2 in three-set matches this year; he defeated Anderson (S.C.) sophomore Krystof Gulbinovic in three sets Tuesday.
Bulldog senior Flavio Rathsam (Sao Paulo, Brazil) also won a three-setter Wednesday, taking a 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-4 triumph over Newberry sophomore Michael Saunders (Christchurch, New Zealand) on court number one. Rathsam, Owen and classmate Matt Lichtenstein (Darnestown, Md.) were honored in a pre-match Senior Day ceremony.
For the second straight day, Wingate freshman Diego Martinez (Queretaro, Mexico) started the rally with a win in the number three singles match. On Wednesday, Martinez defeated Newberry sophomore Mohammed Chakir (Rabat, Morocco) 6-2, 6-2. Martinez and sophomore Ryan Forbes (Charlotte, N.C.) won two matches each, as they started the afternoon with an 8-3 victory at the number three doubles flight.
In singles, Forbes defeated Newberry freshman Carlos Nicolopulos (Valencia, Venezuela) 6-3, 7-5 at the number five position. Wingate freshman Neal Towlson (Warwick, Bermuda) also earned a singles victory, topping Newberry junior Cal Loveridge (Derby, Derbyshire, England) 6-4, 6-3 in the number four singles match.
Wingate freshman Josh Eardley (Newcastle, Staffordshire, England) concluded the six-hour match with a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 1-0 (7) victory over Newberry sophomore David Sons (Lexington, S.C.) on court number six. Eardley has two SAC singles victories (in three tries) this year; both triumphs were decided with a tie-breaker in lieu of the third set.
The Wolves claimed a 2-1 lead after the conclusion of doubles. Martinez and Forbes gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 edge with their 8-3 win over Loveridge and Nicolopulos. Saunders and Botelho outlasted Rathsam and Towlson 8-6 at the number one doubles flight. Chakir and Sons defeated Owen and Eardley 8-5 on court number two to give the visitors an advantage entering singles.