Upstate Wins 20th Straight, Spartans Improve To Perfect 9-0 In A-Sun
April 4, 2009
DeLAND, Fla. - Junior Javier Tori set the program record for career singles wins and senior Leandro Osorio tied the school record for career doubles wins as the USC Upstate men's tennis team set itself up for a winner-take-all battle for the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championship with a 6-1 win over Stetson on Saturday afternoon at the Mandy Stohl Tennis Complex. Upstate wraps up its second season of Division I play on Tuesday at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex against 59th-ranked ETSU, with both teams entering the match with perfect 9-0 conference records.
Tori, who set the school's career combined wins record on Friday night at FGCU, set the school's career singles win record against the Hatters, posting his 58th career win with a 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-3 over Maksim Levanovich at No. 3 singles to cap off the 6-1 win. He passed the 12-year-old mark set by Jorge Ventura from 1994-97.
Osorio, meanwhile, tied the school's career doubles mark, set by his former teammate, Stefean Dumitrescu (2003-07), with his 71st career doubles win, an 8-4 win to clinch the doubles point with junior partner Jack Roux over Levanovich and Filip Kricka at No. 2.
Upstate (22-2 overall, 9-0 A-Sun) won its school-record 20th straight match and left Stetson with a 16-6 overall record and a 7-2 mark in the league. The Hatters entered the weekend with a perfect 7-0 mark in the A-Sun before losing a match Thursday to ETSU, 5-2, and dropping the decision to Upstate on Saturday.
The Spartans swept the doubles point against the Hatters, who had been ranked as high as 64th in the nation in the spring, as freshmen Rodriguez and Blanco posted an 8-3 win over Mark Mestan and Cesare Gallo at No. 3 and Roux and Osorio clinched the point at No. 2. Juniors Renzo Airaldi and Tori wrapped up the point with an 8-6 win over Njal Stene and Chris Swanteson at No. 1.
In singles play, the Hatters evened the match at one with a win at No. 6, but the Spartans took control after that, as Airaldi took a 6-4, 6-4 decision from Mestan and Blanco added his 22nd straight win with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Gallo at No. 5. Roux added a 7-6 (3), 6-3 win at No. 4, his 14th straight win, against Stene to clinch the match.
Two more Spartans, meanwhile, headed into third sets before coming away with victories, as Rodriguez notched a 6-2, 6-7 (8), 6-1 win over Kricka and Tori added his three-set win for the school-record to close it out.
Upstate's showdown with ETSU on Tuesday is set to start at 2:30 p.m. Upstate is looking for its third conference title and its first outright title, having won a share of the Division II Peach Belt Conference titles in 2003 and 2005.