SPARTANBURG, S.C. - After securing the doubles point then waiting over six hours to resume to action because of rain, the No. 6 Kennesaw State Owls clinched the 4-3 win over No. 3 Stetson with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 victory on court five from Sam Slade. The result marks KSU's first-ever A-Sun Championship win.
The Owls secured wins on the first and third doubles court to take the quick 1-0 lead early Friday morning. Slade and Jorge Wilton first defeated Gonzalo Arroyo and Pierre-Emmanuel Fossier 6-3, before Manuel Castellanos and Simon Pritchard continued their undefeated run together with a 7-5 win on court one.
Play then moved indoors after rain swept through Spartanburg as singles play continued in Greenville, S.C. The Stetson Hatters began to mount a furious comeback, as First Team All-Freshman honoree Loic Blanco made quick work of KSU's Simon Pritchard by a score of 6-4, 6-1 on court one. Laurynas Antropikas was close behind, earning a 6-2, 6-4 win over Manuel Castellanos on court two, giving the Hatters the 2-1 advantage.
The Owls struck back on court four in dramatic fashion, as junior David Durham defeated freshman Pierre-Emmanuel Fossier in a tight three-setter, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to even things at two-apiece. Stetson's Graham Ball answered with a three-set win of his own for the Hatters on court three, sending the focus on to the final two courts to decide the match.
Both Drew Wendel and Slade for Kennesaw State opened with 6-2 victories in their opening sets, while Wendel went on to defeat Gonzalo Arroyo by a similar score in the second frame. Slade would stumble in the second, as Simon Julin battled back for a 6-3 win and an early break in the third, going up 4-2. Slade didn't lose control however, as the Alpharetta, Ga. native dialed in for four straight games, winning 6-4 to clinch the match and semifinal appearance for the Owls.
With the loss, Stetson finishes the season at 11-11, while Kennesaw State improves to 10-9 with the win. The Owls will face No. 2 North Florida Saturday, April 23 at 11:30 a.m.
A-Sun Championship First Round Results
No. 3 Stetson vs. No. 6 Kennesaw State
Apr 22, 2015 at Spartanburg, S.C.
(USC Upstate Tennis Complex)
No. 6 Kennesaw State 4, No. 3 Stetson 3
1. Loic Blanco (STET) def. Simon Pritchard (KSU) 6-4, 6-1
2. Laurynas Antropikas (STET) def. Manuel Castellanos (KSU) 6-2, 6-4
3. Graham Ball (STET) def. Lucas De Torres Curth (KSU) 6-3, 5-7, 6-1
4. David Durham (KSU) def. Pierre-Emmanuel Fossier (STET) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
5. Sam Slade (KSU) def. Simon Julin (STET) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
6. Drew Wendel (KSU) def. Gonzalo Arroyo (STET) 6-2, 6-2
1. Manuel Castellanos/Simon Pritchard (KSU) def. Loic Blanco/Graham Ball (STET) 7-5
2. Simon Julin/Laurynas Antropikas (STET) vs. David Durham/Drew Wendel (KSU) 5-4 DNF
3. Sam Slade/Jorge Wilton (KSU) def. Gonzalo Arroyo/Pierre-Emmanuel Fossier 6-3
No. 3 Stetson
No. 6 Kennesaw State
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,2,4,3,6,5)