LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland dropped three close doubles matches and 14th-ranked University of the Cumberlands quickly posted two singles wins for a 5-0 victory over the 16th-ranked Phoenix in the semifinals of the Mid-South Conference Men’s Tennis Championships late Friday in Owensboro, Ky.
Cumberland led in three of the four remaining singles outings with the other tied at one-set apiece when the match was stopped. The Phoenix lost all three doubles matches, 8-6, including at No. 2 where CU was in front, 6-2, before falling.
The Cumberlands (12-5) handed the Phoenix their only two defeats in league play this season, including a 5-3 decision in Williamsburg on March 29.
The Patriots jumped ahead with three doubles victories, as Luis Montull and Anthony Kwok defeated Pau Grabuleda Cruañas and Francisco Fernandez Meaca at No. 3 before Martin Barbier and Eric Banoub won against Alejo Bagnera and Ramon Puertolas at No. 1.
Cumberland’s Thiago Lopes and Axel Lucich held the 6-2 advantage at No. 2 but dropped the match to Aatu Merenheimo and Jan Dietrich, putting the Phoenix in a deep hole.
Barbier, ranked 39th nationally in singles, defeated Grabuleda Cruañas, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 1 and Kwok ended the match with a 6-3, 6-2, win as well at No. 6 versus Lopes.
Bagnera led 6-1, 4-3, at No. 2 against Merenheimo while Puertolas was ahead, 6-4, 4-3, over Montull at No. 3 and Lucich was in front, 6-4, 6-5, versus Banoub at No. 5. Fernandez Meaca and Dietrich split sets and were headed to the third when the match was stopped.
#14 University of the Cumberlands 5, #16 Cumberland University 0
1. #39 Martin Barbier (UC) def. Pau Grabuleda Cruañas (CU), 6-3, 6-2
2. Alejo Bagnera (CU) vs. Aatu Merenheimo (UC) 6-1, 4-3, DNF
3. Ramon Puertolas (CU) vs. Luis Montull (UC) 6-4, 4-3, DNF
4. Francisco Fernandez Meaca (CU) vs. Jan Dietrich (UC) 6-3, 2-6, DNF
5. Axel Lucich (CU) vs. Eric Banoub (UC) 6-4, 6-5, DNF
6. Anthony Kwok (UCM) def. Thiago Lopes (CUMBUM) 6-3, 6-2
1. Barbier-Banoub (UC) def. Bagnera-Puertolas (CU), 8-6
2. Merenheimo-Dietrich (UC) def. Lopes-Lucich (CU), 8-6
3. Montull-Kwok (UC) def. Grabuleda Cruañas-Fernandez Meaca (CU), 8-6
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (1,6)