Spartanburg, S.C. – On Senior Day at USC Upstate, Ramiro Blanco got the best senior gift of all as the Spartans gutted out a 4-3 victory over visiting Mercer in a key A-Sun men's tennis match at the Upstate Tennis Complex Saturday afternoon.
Upstate improved to 11-8 overall and 4-4 in the A-Sun with win. The Spartans will close out the conference season at ETSU next Saturday. Mercer fell to 4-11 overall and 1-6 in the A-Sun.
"Today was a really good day," said Upstate head coach Oliver Trittenwein. "The team was on a mission to win the match for Ramiro and to stay in the hunt for a spot in the A-Sun Tournament. It was good to see Ramiro get a win in his singles match to help the team take the match. This should give us some really good momentum heading into our regular season finale at ETSU."
Upstate fell behind when Mercer claimed the doubles point with wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 spots. David Barton and Victor Dias took an 8-6 victory over Blanco (Chascomus, Argentina) and Mattias Kidler (Bremen, Germany) at No. 1. Pierre Tafelski and Peter Tauchner took a thrilling 9-7 victory over Yvon Haessig (Burgdof, Switzerland) and Pierre Vernin (Le Coteau, France) at No. 3.
Upstate's Gonzale Blanco (Chascomus, Argentina) and Jacob Darling (Katikati, New Zealand) claimed a tough 8-6 win at No. 2 doubles for Upstate, but the Spartans still went to the singles matches down, 1-0.
Just as Upstate did Friday against Kennesaw State, the Spartans won the singles matches at positions 1-4 to take the win in the team match. Three of the four matches were won in straight sets with the other decided when a Mercer player retired due to injury.
Ramiro Blanco claimed a 6-4, 6-2 win over Tafelski at the No. 1 position. Kidler took a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Tauchner at the No. 2 spot. Gonzalo Blanco gained the win when Joao Pagan retired in the second set. Blanco was leading after taking the first set 6-2 and being up 2-0 in the second. Haessig claimed a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 4 singles to complete the sweep of the first four positions. The four wins gave Upstate the victory in the match.
Mercer got its second and third points with wins at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions. Dias took a 6-3, 6-3 win over Vernin at No. 5 and Vincent DeLise claimed a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Tyler Grove (Spartanburg, S.C.).
USC Upstate 4, Mercer University 3
1. Ramiro Blanco (UPST) def. Pierre Tafelski (MER) 6-4, 6-2
2. Matthias Kidler (UPST) def. Peter Tauchner (MER) 6-2, 6-3
3. Gonzalo Blanco (UPST) def. Joao Pagan (MER) 6-2, retired
4. Yvon Haessig (UPST) def. David Barton (MER) 6-2, 6-2
5. Victor Dias (MER) def. Pierre Vernin (UPST) 6-3, 6-3
1. David Barton/Victor Dias (MER) def. Ramiro Blanco/Matthias Kidler (UPST) 8-6
2. Gonzalo Blanco/Jacob Darling (UPST) def. Joao Pagan/Vincent DeLise (MER) 8-6
Mercer University: 4-11, 1-6 A-Sun
USC Upstate: 11-8, 4-4 A-Sun