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Men's Tennis Wins First Postseason Championship
April 26, 2014
The top-seeded Georgia Gwinnett men’s tennis team took down second-seeded Xavier (La.) by a 5-1 score to capture the Grizzlies’ first-ever postseason title at the 2014 Unaffiliated A.I.I./Gulf Coast/Red River/Sooner tennis tournament in New Orleans on Saturday.
The final between the NAIA’s No. 3 and No. 10 teams was played on the Gold Rush’s home courts at the XU Tennis Center.
The Grizzlies remain unbeaten at 17-0 on the season while Xavier dropped to 11-11.
“It feels great to win the conference championship for Georgia Gwinnett,” said GGC head coach Chase Hodges. “It’s fantastic any time you can win one, but with it being the first for our sport, it’s a big deal.”
The Grizzlies won two of three doubles points to build an early advantage. Bruno Tiberti and Mark Verryth teamed up for an 8-1 win at second doubles to get things going. After Luke Morland and Nathan de Veer were tripped at first doubles, 8-3, to tie the match, Connor Clements and Matias Hatem pulled out an 8-6 victory to regain the Grizzly advantage.
In singles play, it was all Grizzlies as GGC won straight-sets decisions at second, third and fourth singles to clinch the match.
Erik Moberg sailed, 6-1, 6-0 at number four, Tiberti earned a 6-1, 6-1 win at number two and Hatem won 6-1, 6-3 and number three to seal the victory.
When the match halted, one set had been decided in each of the other three singles competitions.
The Grizzlies earned the second postseason championship for Georgia Gwinnett College in the school’s first year of eligibility with Saturday’s win.
“We are happy with our performance today, but we have our eyes set on Mobile,” Hodges added. “Our goal all year has been that national title in May.”
The Grizzlies now wait for the bracket to be released for the 2014 NAIA National Championships, which will be played May 13-17 in Mobile, Ala.