SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The No. 4 USC Upstate Spartans advanced to the 2016 Atlantic Sun Men's Tennis Championship Final behind a shocking upset of the top-seeded FGCU Eagles, 4-3. Freshman Lenhard Haupt sealed the match with a three-set win on court four.
The Spartans grabbed the early lead after strong performances on the doubles courts, first winning at the third slot behind a 6-1 victory from Ignacio Garrido and Matt Bennion before sealing the first point of the contest on court one with a 6-2 win from Ramon Simonetti and Ankush Arora over Andres Alfonzo and Ezequiel Cerrini.
Singles play would tighten up, as both teams grabbed early match wins. FGCU was the first to strike, winning on court two as Ricky Ventura dominated freshman Arora, 6-4, 6-0. Jamie Yates responded for the Spartans on court three, winning 6-2, 6-2 over Cerrini, before Freshman of the Year Fernandez helped bring the Eagles even with a 6-3, 6-4 victory on the fifth court.
Lucas Vaz was able to give FGCU a 3-2 lead after defeating Raj Dharni 7-6, 6-4 on court six, and all eyes turned to courts one and four, matches between Simonetti and Andres Alfonzo and Lenhard Haupt and Eduardo Alfonzo. Simonetti battled all match with FGCU's top man and prevailed by a score of 7-5, 7-6(4). Down 3-2 in the final set, Haupt dialed in to win four straight games for the Spartans, clinching the victory and USC Upstate's first appearance in the A-Sun Championship Final.
FGCU falls to 16-6 with the loss, their first to an A-Sun opponent since 2014. USC Upstate improves to 9-13 and will face the winner of No. 2 North Florida and No. 6 Kennesaw State on Sunday, April 24 for a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
A-Sun Championship Semifinal Results
No. 1 FGCU vs. No. 4 USC Upstate
Apr 23, 2015 at Spartanburg, S.C.
(USC Upstate Tennis Complex)
No. 4 USC Upstate 4, No. 1 FGCU 3
1. Ramon Simonetti (UPST) def. Andres Alfonzo (FGCU) 7-5, 7-6(4)
2. Ricky Ventura (FGCU) def. Ankush Arora (UPST) 6-4, 6-0
3. Jamie Yates (UPST) def. Ezequiel Cerrini (FGCU) 6-2, 6-2
4. Lenhard Haupt (UPST) def. Eduardo Alfonzo (FGCU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
5. Javier Fernandez (FGCU) def. Ignacio Garrido (UPST) 6-3, 6-4
6. Lucas Vaz (FGCU) def. Raj Dharni 7-6(2), 6-4
1. Ramon Simonetti/Ankush Arora (UPST) def. Andres Alfonzo/Ezequiel Cerrini (LIP) 6-2
2. Ricky Ventura/Lucas Vaz (FGCU) vs. Jamie Yates/Raj Dharni (UPST) 3-2
3. Ignacio Garrido/Matt Bennion (UPST) def. Javier Fernandez/Eduardo Alfonzo (FGCU) 6-1
No. 1 FGCU 16-6
No. 4 USC Upstate 9-13
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,3,5,6,1,4)