Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's tennis team pulled out a tense doubles point to set the tone for the match and claimed four wins in singles play to take a 5-2 victory over Kennesaw State in a key A-Sun match Friday afternoon at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex.
Upstate used wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles positions to secure the spot. Upstate then won at the 1-4 singles positions to take the match, 5-2.
"It was good to get this win today against a team that has beaten a team that we lost to in the conference," said Upstate head coach Oliver Trittenwein. "Getting the doubles point was really big. Anytime you can take the wind out of the other team's sails is a good thing. It can be a double-edged sword, though, if our guys were to come out relaxed and get behind in singles. But, that wasn't the case and we were able to get wins in our first four singles positions to get the match. The guys kept it together and took care of business."
Upstate opened doubles play with Ramiro Blanco (Chascomus, Argentina) and Matthias Kidler (Bremen, Germany) taking a dominant 8-2 victory over Simon Janik and Gokalp Ozdemir at the No. 1 doubles position. The other two doubles contests were tough. Kennesaw State's Michael Browder and Louis Theodor took an 8-6 victory over Tyler Grove (Spartanburg) and Jacob Darling (Katikati, New Zealand) at the No. 2 position. Pierre Vernin (Le Coteau, France) and Yvon Haessig (Burgdof, Switzerland) decided the doubles point with a tough 9-7 victory over Alexander Pena and Alex Toliver at the No. 3 doubles spot.
Armed with a 1-0 lead heading into singles play, Upstate relied on the top of the lineup to secure the match. The Spartans won all four matches at the No. 1-4 positions in straight sets. The two matches Upstate lost, at No. 5 and No. 6, were in three sets.
Ramiro Blanco started things off with a 6-0, 7-5 victory over Tolliver at No. 1 singles. Kidler followed with a dominant performance at No. 2, winning 6-2, 6-0. Gonzalo Blanco (Chascomus, Argentina) took a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Janik at the No. 3 spot. Haessig claimed a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Gianni Kubin at No. 4 singles to give Upstate its five points.
Kennesaw State claimed its two points when Ozdemir took a 6-3, 3-6, 10-8 victory over Vernin at No. 5 singles and Pena claimed a 6-3, 2-6, 10-5 win over Grove at the No. 6 spot.
USC Upstate 5, Kennesaw State 2
1. Ramiro Blanco (UPST) def. Alex Toliver (KSU); 6-0, 7-5
2. Matthias Kidler (UPST) def. Louis Theodor (KSU); 6-2, 6-0
3. Gonzalo Blanco (UPST) def. Simon Janik (KSU); 6-2, 6-2
4. Yvon Haessig (UPST) def. Gianni Kubin (KSU); 6-4, 6-0
5. Gokalp Ozdemir (KSU) def. Pierre Vernin (UPST); 6-3, 3-6, 10-8
6. Alexander Pena (KSU) def. Tyler Grove (UPST); 6-3, 2-6, 10-5
1. Ramiro Blanco/Matthias Kidler (UPST) def. Simon Janik/Gokalp Ozdemir (KSU); 8-2
2. Michael Browder/Louis Theodor (KSU) def. Tyler Grove/Jacob Darling (UPST); 8-6
3. Pierre Vernin/Yvon Haessig (UPST) def. Alexander Pena/Alex Toliver (KSU); 9-7
Kennesaw State: 10-10, 1-5 A-Sun