LEXINGTON, Ky. – Pablo Borrero, Sebastian Nava and Andres Burgos all won in straight sets in singles and all three players posted doubles victories as well, as 10th-ranked Cumberland posted a 5-1 victory over No. 20 University of Pikeville in the semifinals of the Mid-South Conference Men’s Tennis Championships here Friday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
Cumberland (17-3) advances to face ninth-ranked Lindsey Wilson in the conference championship match Saturday at 1 p.m. Central Time. The Bulldogs and Blue Raiders played nearly seven hours on April 6 in Lebanon before LWC pulled out a 5-4 victory.
The Bulldogs struggled through doubles, with 17th-ranked Antonio Manuel Marcelo and Pedro Rodrigues taking a drubbing from Sven Rodenbusch and Dmitry Babenkov, as the Bears broke serve three times in the match. CU rebounded with an 8-3 win at No. 2, as Borrero and Nava also broke three times versus Gonzala Saez Garcia and Lucas Cardoco Oliveira, including the final game to even the score.
Jeremy Fleming and Burgos got an early break as well at No. 3 against Marcos Sernandez Fondelius and Connor Smith, but the Bears evened the match at four with a break of their own. A huge double fault at break point gave Cumberland a 7-6 edge, but Pikeville was up 30-40 in the next service game before the Bulldogs won the final three points, including an overhead smash and an ace by Burgos before Fleming’s final volley gave CU an 8-6 triumph and a 2-1 lead in the match.
In singles Marcelo and Rodrigues each went up a set in singles at Nos. 1 and 2, but both players struggled in the second set before the match was called.
Borrero was the next Bulldog to win the first set and the freshman was up 4-1 in the second as well before running into trouble. Meanwhile, on the next court over, Burgos fell behind 0-2 in the first set before reeling off 12 consecutive games for a 6-2, 6-0, victory over Fondelius at No. 4. Burgos broke serve six consecutive times and gave Cumberland a 3-1 edge in the match.
Nava posted breaks in each of Oliveira’s first two service games, but the CU freshman was broken twice of his own later in the first set, evening the match at 3-all. Nava rebounded with two more service breaks in that set and two more in the second, including the final game, for a 6-3, 6-1, victory.
Borrero was up 4-1 in the second set at No. 3 before faltering and allowing Garcia to tie the set at 4-all, but Borrero broke in the ninth game and served out the set and the match in a 6-2, 6-4, triumph.
#10 Cumberland Univ. 5, #20 Univ. of Pikeville 1
1. #27 Antonio Manuel Marcelo (CU) vs. Sven Rodenbusch (PIKE), 6-0, 4-6, DNF
2. Pedro Rodrigues (CU) vs. Dmitry Babenkov (PIKE), 6-2, 5-6, DNF
3. Pablo Borrero (CU) def. Gonzala Saez Garcia (PIKE), 6-2, 6-4
4. Andres Burgos (CU) def. Marcos Sernandez Fondelius (PIKE), 6-2, 6-0
5. Sebastian Nava (CU) def. Lucas Cardoco Oliveira (PIKE), 6-3, 6-1
6. Jeremy Fleming (CU) vs. Connor Smith (PIKE), 2-6, 3-1, DNF
Order of Finish: 4,5,3
1. Babenkov-Rodenbusch (PIKE) def. #17 Marcelo-Rodrigues (CU), 8-1
2. Borrero-Nava (CU) def. Garcia-Oliveira (PIKE), 8-3
3. Burgos-Fleming (CU) def. Fondelius-Smith (PIKE), 8-6
Order of Finish: 1,2,3