Eagles' Run in SoCon Championship Ends
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - The Georgia Southern Men's Tennis team joined the women's tennis team in bowing out of the SoCon Championship in the quarterfinals. The Eagles' season ended on Friday afternoon when it fell to second-seeded Samford by a 4-1 margin, improving the Bulldogs to 16-4 on the year.
The Eagles (3-20, 1-9 SoCon) were denied in a tough doubles decision to lose the opening point of the match. The Eagles got on the board first when (Vigo, Spain) and (Martinez, Ga.) won their third-consecutive match and notched their second victory of the season over Zac Dunkle and Alexander Sajonz at No. 1 doubles, 8-4. However, the tide shifted when SoCon Second Team All-Conference tandem Carson Kadi and Fernando Costa leveled things up with an 8-4 win at No. 3 doubles over (Peachtree City, Ga.) and (Orange Park, Fla.). For the second day in a row, the fate of the doubles point rested on the shoulders of (Sarasota, Fla.) and (Hilversum, The Netherlands) at No. 2 doubles. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they came up just short and fell to Ryan Shidler and Elliot Barnwell by an 8-3 score.
The momentum gained by the Bulldogs in doubles fueled them as they moved into singles play. Dunkle, a selection to the SoCon First Team All-Conference, downed Garrido by a 6-2, 6-1 score to put the Bulldogs up, 2-0. Samford took a 3-0 lead when Dromsky's undefeated record at No. 2 singles came to an end in a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Kadi. Resilient as they have been all year, the Eagles started on the comeback trail when (Manresa, Spain) ousted Garrison Laduca at No. 6 singles by a 6-2, 6-1 tally. However, Second Team All-Conference selection Barnwell finished off Hoffman at No. 3 singles by a 6-3, 6-1 count to send Samford into the semifinals and end the Eagles' SoCon Championship run. The Eagles were leading in the second sets in each of the remaining two singles matches, but play was halted due to the match outcome being decided. Verdam contested Costa at No. 4 singles, while (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) faced off against Second Team All-Conference selection Sajonz at No. 5 singles. Osorio's five-match singles winning streak will move forward into next season.
Marred by significant injuries to Osorio, Davison, and junior captain Verdam, the Eagles faced much adversity throughout the course of the season. Starting as many as four freshmen in the lineup at once, they faced early-season struggles that would be expected from such a young team. However, the hard work and tenacity of the team was evident as they learned how to win and ended the season on a strong note, making the SoCon quarterfinals for the first time since 2009 and tallying a win in the tournament for the first time since 2008. Although losing the leadership of senior captain Garrido, Davison, and (Vienna, Austria) will hurt, the young Eagles should only get better as they retool in the offseason and prepare for the 2012-13 season.
"I am so proud of this team, the way we fought through the tough times and kept working," said Head Coach . "Today we came up a bit short against a solid Samford squad, but our freshmen have gained a lot of valuable experience this year. Our seniors did a great job this year helping them stay positive, and that's why we were able to get our first tourney win in a long time yesterday."
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- Category: Men's Tennis
- Published on Friday, 20 April 2012 16:39