SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Four years ago, USC Upstate began a journey to join the NCAA Division I ranks and pending approval by the NCAA Board of Governors, Upstate will become an active member of D-I on Sept. 1, 2011. With the transitional phase nearly complete, the media relations office takes a look back at some of the top moments of the transitional phase, today's spotlight, men's and women's tennis.
On July 1, the top 10 moments of the transition were compiled into an online web poll and thanks to the votes of Spartan fans, the final tally is in. Without any further ado, here are the top three moments of the transitional phase for Upstate tennis.
Moment No. 3
Blanco nets First-Team All-A-Sun honors after strong junior campaign
Apr. 12, 2011
After his first five singles matches of 2011, Ramiro Blanco sat 0-5 overall, but with a 6-4, 6-0 win against Presbyterian College's Grayson Mills, things began to click for Blanco.
The junior from Chascomus, Argentina, dropped just one match over his final 17 matches to finish the season 16-6 overall. His strong performance earned him A-Sun First-Team All-Conference accolades. His only loss over the final two months came in the conference opener against ETSU's Jesus Bandres (L, 5-7, 6-2, 5-7).
Blanco closed the season on a 10-match win streak and the final five wins were in straight sets. In all, nine of his 16 wins in 2011 were straight set victories.
Blanco posted an 11-10 record in doubles action and teamed primarily with Matias Di Pasquale at No. 1 doubles. The Spartan duo combined for a 10-5 record in 2011. They won their final five matches and were 8-2 over the final 10 matches of the season.
Moment No. 2
Perfection: Men's team downs Campbell to finish 10-0 in A-Sun Play
Apr. 6, 2010
As usual, it was Upstate's senior trio that helped pace the Spartans (18-5 overall, 10-0 overall) to the win, with seniors Renzo Airaldi and Javier Tori posting a 9-8 (8) win over regionally-ranked Davy Sum and Dominik Kaniewski at No. 1 to clinch the doubles point and Tori, the program's winningest player, that clinched the match with a two-set win at No. 3 singles.
The Spartans started strong by winning all three doubles matches, with sophomores Edgar Rodriguez and Ramiro Blanco posting an 8-3 win over Beto Mondini and Loukas Wallaart at No. 3 before Airaldi and Tori's win clinched the point. Almost simultaneously, Roux and junior Marco Linconir added an 8-6 win over Josep Baro and Larbi Lamzouri at No. 2.
In singles play, Upstate continued to control, with Blanco posting a 6-0, 6-3 win over Wallaart at No. 5 and Roux wrapped up his career with a 6-2, 6-3 win over David Clavera at No. 4. After a loss at No. 2, Tori wrapped up the match with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Mondini.
With the match clinched, Linconir posted a 6-4, 6-2 win over Kaniewski at No. 6 and Rodriguez closed out Upstate's campaign with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 win over regionally-ranked Davy Sum, making him 8-1 on the season in A-Sun matches, all played at No. 1.
Moment No. 1
11-0!: Women's team blanks Campbell en route to a perfect league mark
Apr. 10, 2008
In their first year of competition at the D-I level, the Spartans had plenty to celebrate as a 7-0 decision over Campbell in the season finale gave Upstate a perfect 11-0 record in league play and the school's first A-Sun Championship. Overall, the squad posted a 17-3 record.
The Spartans earned the doubles point with two doubles wins, as junior Daniela Lovera and senior Susana Hernandez wrapped up an 8-0 decision against Ana and Nina Surviladze at the No. 2 slot. Junior Anna Novo and freshman Emilia Milovanovic added an 8-0 win over Scarlett Alfonzo and Blanca Saenz at No. 1 doubles.
Upstate kept the momentum going in singles play, as Novo downed Alfonzo, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 1 singles. Lovera added a 6-2, 6-1 win over Ana Surviladze at No. 4 and senior Maria Herrera added the clinching point with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Tanya Ahuja at No. 6 singles.
The Spartans rounded out the match with Hernandez defeating Saenz, 6-3, 6-0, at No. 2 singles and senior Diana Martinez defeating Nina Surviladze at No. 5 singles, 6-1, 7-6 (2). Milovanovic won in a super tiebreak at No. 3 singles against Liza Bensimon, 6-3, 6-7, 10-4.
The media relations office will continue to release the top three moments from each sport leading up to the first athletic competition of the 2011-12 academic year, a women's soccer exhibition match against Spartanburg Methodist College on Aug. 16 at 6 p.m.
Men's & Women's Tennis
Men's & Women's Track and Field (Aug. 15)
Volleyball (Aug. 16)