LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tenth-ranked Cumberland lost all three doubles matches but nearly pulled off a miraculous comeback before dropping a 5-3 decision to No. 9 Lindsey Wilson in the finals of the Mid-South Conference Men’s Tennis Championships here Saturday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
The Bulldogs (17-4) trailed 4-0 before posting three singles victories and Andres Burgos won the second set at No. 4 and led early in the final set before Lindsey Wilson (16-3) prevailed at No. 6 singles for the final point.
The Blue Raiders took control of the match with three hard-fought victories in doubles, getting big breaks late at Nos. 1 and 2.
LWC’s Pablo Vilches and Gilles Cornelis got an early break at No. 3 against Jeremy Fleming and Burgos, but the Bulldogs battled back to knot the match at three with their own break, only to give it back in the next game. From there the tandems held serve until Vilches and Cornelis posted an 8-6 victory.
The other two matches were quite different, thrilling until the very end with late breaks by both teams.
CU’s Pablo Borrero and Sebastian Nava got an early break at No. 2 and led 3-0 against Fabricio Morales and Marlon Dal Point, but the LWC duo picked up their own break and tied the match at three. Morales-Dal Point broke again for a 5-4 lead, but the Bulldogs came right back with a break and then came from Love-40 down to win the next game for a 6-5 lead.
At 6-all and Borrero serving, the two teams went back-and-forth at deuce, more than 10 times, before the Blue Raiders prevailed and then served out another 8-6 win.
The match at No. 1 included a host of deuces on several service games, but there were no breaks until LWC’s seventh-ranked Fernando Bogajo and Francisco Charters broke through at 5-all. Cumberland’s 17th-ranked Antonio Manuel Marcelo and Pedro Rodrigues came right back and squared the match again, but the Blue Raiders broke again in the next game and then served out the third 8-6 triumph for LWC and a 3-0 lead in the match.
The Blue Raiders took a 4-0 advantage when 33rd-ranked Morales defeated Rodrigues, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 2, but from there the Bulldogs began a comeback that nearly turned into a victory.
Borrero posted a 6-4, 6-3, win at No. 3 against Dal Pont and 27th-ranked Marcelo registered his second victory of the season over fifth-ranked Bogajo, winning the first set tiebreaker, 7-5, before taking the second set, 6-1. Nava’s 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, triumph at No. 5 over Vilches pulled Cumberland within, 4-3.
About that time Burgos squared his match at one set apiece against Charters at No. 4 and Fleming got back on serve in the second set versus Cornelis at No. 6, but Cornelis broke again on the next change-over and then served out the match, 6-4, 6-4, the second time in two weeks that the No. 6 singles match decided the outcome between the two teams.
#9 Lindsey Wilson 5, #10 Cumberland Univ. 3
1. #27 Antonio Manuel Marcelo (CU) def. #5 Fernando Bogajo (LWC), 7-6 (5), 6-1
2. #33 Fabricio Morales (LWC) def. Pedro Rodrigues (CU), 6-0, 6-1
3. Pablo Borrero (CU) def. Marlon Dal Pont (LWC), 6-4, 6-3
4. Francisco Charters (LWC) vs. Andres Burgos (CU), 7-5, 4-6, 0-1, DNF
5. Sebastian Nava (CU) def. Pablo Vilches (LWC), 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
6. Gilles Cornelis (LWC) def. Jeremy Fleming (CU), 6-4, 6-4
Order of Finish: 2,3,1,5,6
1. #7 Bogajo-Charters (LWC) def. #17 Marcelo-Rodrigues (CU), 8-6
2. Morales-Dal Point (LWC) def. Borrero-Nava (CU), 8-6
3. Vilches-Cornelis (LWC) def. Burgos-Fleming (CU), 8-6
Order of Finish: 3,2,1