ROCK HILL, S.C. – After going down early in the doubles round, fifth-seeded Anderson University men’s tennis fell just short of its comeback bid in a marathon match, dropping to fourth-seeded Queens, 5-4, in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference on Wednesday at the Rock Hill Tennis Center.
With the setback, the Trojans close their 2014 campaign with an even 9-9 record, while the Royals, who defeated Anderson in its regular season finale on Sunday, improves to 13-5 on the year and advances to Thursday’s semifinal match against top-seeded Wingate.
To begin the doubles round, both teams jumped on the scoreboard early when the Queens tandem of Andre Bafume and Ole-Jacob Meum defeated sophomore Paul Michael Calhoun and senior Danilo Faria at the No. 2 position. Despite the loss, the freshmen team of Juan Carracedo and Mateo Rivas earned AU’s first win of the day with an 8-4 triumph over Per-Erik Soler and Jules Athalis at No. 1.
At No. 3, Queens took the 2-1 lead when Ignacio Casli and Will Roberson knocked off AU’s pair of sophomores in Tomas Passalacqua and Inaki Iriberry, 8-6.
Anderson began its attempt at a rally in the singles round as Calhoun earned the first singles victory of the day at No. 4 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Bafume. Later, Iriberry followed the Calhoun triumph with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 win over Williams at No. 5.
Rivas continued Anderson’s winning ways with a three-set 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 win over Casali, but the win would be AU’s last of the contest. Queens began to chip into AU’s lead when Soler defeated the SAC Freshman of the Year, Carracedo, at No. 1, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2. Athalis evened the score at 4-4 with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-0 victory over Passalacqua, setting the scene for the No. 6 match.
After Roberson opened the match with a 7-6 (7-3) first set win, Faria charged back with a 6-4 victory, forcing the final set the deciding factor for a trip into the semifinals. Faria captured a quick 3-2 advantage, but Roberson was able to break serve, taking a 4-3 lead. Roberson never looked back in the set and sent the Royals into the semifinal with the three-set victory.
With the win, Queens advances to face the top-seeded Bulldogs as the first serve for the semifinal round is slated for 1 p.m.