PIKEVILLE – The University of Pikeville men’s tennis team began play in the 2013 Mid-South Conference tournament with an 8-1 win over Georgetown College.
The quarterfinal match was played Wednesday night at Bob Amos Park. With the win, the third-seeded Bears will advance to play No. 2 Cumberland University Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Boone Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
The matchup will feature two Top 25 teams, as Pikeville is ranked No. 20 in the country while Cumberland is 10th.
The Bulldogs improved to 16-3 on the season with a 5-0 win over U.Va.-Wise on Tuesday morning in the opening round of the tournament.
On Tuesday evening the Bears and Tigers opened play with three doubles matches. Pikeville picked up two of them, winning at No. 1 when Sven Rodenbusch and Dmitry Babenkov knocked off Gustavo Echeveiria and Ryne Least 8-3, and at No. 3 when Gonzalo Garcia and Lucas Oliveria knocked off Zach Thomas and Ross Phelps 8-5.
It appeared the Bears were in position to sweep when the No. 2 combination of Connor Smith and Marcos Fondelius took a 6-3 lead over Chris Bartlett and Jacob Loveland. But Bartlett and Loveland completed a furious rally to win 9-7 to pull the Tigers within one at 2-1 in the best-of-nine match.
As it turned out, that match would be the only win of the day for the Tigers. Pikeville picked up wins at No. 6 singles when Brennan Alderman knocked off Wes Moses 6-1, 6-1 and No. 5 with a 6-1, 6-0 win by Smith over Clay.
The clincher came at No. 4 where Garcia knocked off Loveland 6-3, 6-2.
The teams played out the final three singles matches, which saw Rodenbusch knock off Echeveria 6-3, 6-1 at No. 1, Babenkov defeat Bartlett 7-6, 6-1 at No. 2 and, in the only three-set contest, Fondelius edge Least 6-1, 4-6 and, in a super tiebreaker, 10-5.
Georgetown ended its season with a record of 5-15.
Sven Rodenbusch and Dmitry Babenkov (UPike) def. Gustavo Echeveiria and Ryne Least (GC), 8-3
Chris Bartlett and Jacob Loveland (GC) def. Connor Smith and Marcos Fondelius (UPike), 9-7
Gonzalo Garcia and Lucas Oliveira (UPike) def. Zach Thomas and Ross Phelps (GC), 8-5
Sven Rodenbusch (UPike) def. Gustavo Echeveiria (GC), 6-3, 6-1
Dmitry Babenkov (UPike) def. Chris Bartlett (GC), 7-6, 6-1
Marcos Fondelius (UPike) def. Ryne Least (GC), 6-1, 4-6, 10-5
Gonzalo Garcia (UPike) def. Jacob Loveland (GC), 6-3, 6-2
Connor Smith (UPike) def. Josh Clay (GC), 6-1, 6-0
Brennan Alderman (UPike) def. Wes Moses (GC), 6-1 6-1