JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – USC Upstate sophomore Gonzalo Blanco picked up a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Daniel Hernandez to lift the Spartans to a 4-2 victory over Lipscomb Friday morning in the first round of the 2012 Atlantic Sun Men's Tennis Championship.
Lipscomb (9-12) earned the doubles point by taking two of the three matches. At No. 1 doubles, Ramiro Blanco and Matthias Kidler claimed an 8-4 victory, while Lipscomb's Stuart Tierney and Tanner Brown posted an 8-5 win at doubles No. 2 to even the score at 1-1. In the decisive match, doubles No. 3, Gonzalo Blanco and Jacob Darling dropped a heartbreaker to Colby Shaw and David Salazar as the Lipscomb duo posted a 9-8 (7-5) win.
The Spartans (12-9), trailing 1-0, began its comeback attempt as Ramiro Blanco evened the match at 1-1 with a 6-1, 6-0 victory at singles No. 1. Moments later, the Spartans took a 2-1 advantage when Matthias Kidler posted a 6-2, 6-0 victory over David Salazar at singles No. 2.
Upstate was able to move within one point of advancing when Yvon Haessig picked up a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Colby Shaw at singles No. 4.
Lipscomb closed to within one, at 3-2, when Stuart Tierney posted a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Jacob Darling at singles No. 6.
Gonzalo Blanco pushed the Spartans into the semifinal round with the hard fought, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Daniel Hernandez at singles No. 3.
Making their first-ever appearance in the A-Sun Tournament after a five-year transition from Division II to Division I, the Spartans will look to continue its run when they battle No. 1 seed and nationally-ranked ETSU (12-8) tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m.
Tennis Match Results
USC Upstate vs Lipscomb
April 20, 2012 at Johnson City, Tenn.
(Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center)
USC Upstate 4, Lipscomb 2
1. Ramiro Blanco (UPSTM) def. Oliver Strecker (LIP) 6-1, 6-0
2. Matthias Kidler (UPSTM) def. David Salazar (LIP) 6-2, 6-0
3. Gonzalo Blanco (UPSTM) def. Daniel Hernandez (LIP) 6-4, 6-3
4. Yvon Haessig (UPSTM) def. Colby Shaw (LIP) 6-1, 6-2
5. Miguel Cortez (LIP) vs. Pierre Vernin (UPSTM) 6-1, 5-5, unfinished
6. Stuart Tierney (LIP) def. Jacob Darling (UPSTM) 6-1, 6-3
1. Matthias Kidler/Ramiro Blanco (UPSTM) def. Oliver Strecker/Miguel Cortez (LIP) 8-4
2. Stuart Tierney/Tanner Brown (LIP) def. Yvon Haessig/Pierre Vernin (UPSTM) 8-5
3. Colby Shaw/David Salazar (LIP) def. Gonzalo Blanco/Jacob Darling (UPSTM) 9-8 (7-5)
USC Upstate 12-9, 4-5 A-Sun
Lipscomb 9-12, 4-5 A-Sun
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,2,4,6,3)
Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament (First Round)
(5) USC Upstate advances to Saturday's Semifinal (vs. (1) ETSU, 8:30 a.m.)