ANDERSON, S.C. – After posting its first South Atlantic Conference victory in its last match, Anderson University men’s tennis steps away from its conference slate and travels to in-state rival and nationally-ranked Lander on Monday. First serve from the Jeff May Tennis Complex is set for 2 p.m.
After winning 2-of-3 doubles matches, AU claimed four singles matchups to earn the 6-3 victory over Newberry on Feb. 8. Picking up two wins on the afternoon was sophomores Tomas Passalacqua and Inaki Iriberry as the duo knocked off Newberry’s Mohammed Chakir and David Sons at the No. 3 position. In singles, Passalacqua added a three-set win over Fernando Espana at No. 3 singles, while Iriberry notched a straight set win over Carlos Nicolopulous at No. 5.
Also claiming singles wins was sophomore Paul Michael Calhoun and senior Danilo Faria. Faria earned a straight set win over Sons at the No. 6 spot, while Calhoun earned a three set win over Chakir at No. 4.
The Trojans remained unbeaten against Newberry since joining the SAC before the 2011 season. With the win, AU has not dropped a SAC regular season match since March 8, 2013.
After the fall season, Lander was ranked No. 7 nationally by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). To go along with the national ranking, the Bearcats were slotted No. 2 in the Southeast Region. For the spring, Lander enters Monday with a 2-1 record with its lone blemish coming against No. 3 ranked West Florida, 7-2, on Feb. 9. For its wins, LU picked up two 9-0 wins over Coker and Limestone.
The Bearcats are led by Preseason PBC All-Conference selection Vincent Verpeaux, as he came into this season as a two-time PBC all-conference selection and was a “Player to Watch” in 2013, according to the ITA. Last season, the senior was named an ITA All-American after posting a 14-4 singles record and a 16-6 doubles mark. The native of Aix en Provence, France entered the spring schedule ranked No. 13 nationally in singles and in doubles.
Verpeaux’s doubles partner, Ristomatti Lanne, plays at the No. 2 singles spot and claimed a 6-2, 6-0 win over Limestone’s Lucas Guinski in his most recent match. Against West Florida, both players suffered straight set setbacks in the singles round, as teammates Niklas Terhorst and Marc Hofer were the only Bearcats to grab team points with their wins at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.
Anderson and Lander will meet for the first time since the 2012 season where Lander claimed an 8-1 win over the Trojans.