Fifth-ranked Wingate drops 30th-ranked Pioneers, 5-2

Fifth-ranked Wingate drops 30th-ranked Pioneers, 5-2

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Fifth-ranked Wingate University clinched no worse than a share of the South Atlantic Conference men's tennis championship with a 5-2 win over 30th-ranked Tusculum University Saturday afternoon at the Nichols Tennis Complex.

The Bulldogs (13-2, 8-0 SAC) won the doubles point and the first three singles matches to clinch the win against the Pioneers (11-5, 5-3 SAC), who were playing their fourth ranked opponent in a span of 11 days.

Wingate grabbed the doubles point with a sweep of the three matches, led by Roy Stepanov and Enrico Giacomini who beat Tim Klee and Manuel Guedes de Almeida 6-0 at flight one. Matthew Jones and Duncan Addison beat Tomas Guedes de Almeida and Gabriel Yaguar 6-4 at flight two, with Tamir Geva and Josep Canyadell also winning 6-4 at flight three over Yago Fernandez and Jacco Mensinga.

In singles, the Bulldogs went ahead 3-0 as Canyadell beat Fernandez 6-0, 7-5 at flight three and Giancomini defeated Raitsou 6-4, 6-3 at flight five. Jones then delivered the clinching point for the Bulldogs as he rallied to beat 44th-ranked David Akinpetide 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 at flight one.

Tusculum was able to salvage a pair of points as Tomas Almeida beat Stepanov 3-6, 6-4, (10-4) at flight two, and Yaguar downed Geva 8-5 at flight six. Tolunay Sumer had the other singles win for Wingate, beating Manuel Almeida 6-0, 7-6 (7-4) at flight four.

The Pioneers will finish their regular-season home schedule on Wednesday with a 2 p.m. match against Lincoln Memorial.