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Argos Win NCAA Tennis Thriller 5-4 Against Concordia

May 14, 2008

HOUSTON, Tex. - The West Florida Men's tennis team was staring at a long ride home, but never gave up, and prevailed in the match of the day at the NCAA Spring Sports Festival at Memorial Park Tennis Center in Houston, Texas. Down by a 4-1 score, and down a set in the number five singles match, the Argos had their backs against the wall, but rallied to pull off the incredible come back victory, as Patrick Bateman capped it off with a three set win at the number five singles match.

In doubles, the Argos fell behind 2-1, as they won at the number two spot, as the 16th-ranked duo of Nicolas Barrientos and Patrick Bateman continued their great success, as they topped the Clippers' Vlad Malkin and Kirill Azovtev, 8-3, to improve to 24-2 in doubles this year. Meanwhile, at No. 1 doubles, the Clippers' duo of Alex Grubin and Rodrigo Teixeria topped Eduardo Cavasotti and Luis Arboleda, 8-5. Concordia's other doubles point came at No. 3 where Josep Molet and Henning Ruenz beat Diego Zorzi and Luiz Bernardi, 8-1.

The situation looked bleak for West Florida as they trailed 4-1 after Concordia's Alex Grubin (ranked No. 1 in the nation) won at No. 1 singles over 21st ranked Eduardo Cavasotti by a 6-1, 6-4 score, and Kirill Azovtsev won at No. 6 singles, over Jose Ycaza 6-2, 6-4. One more singles win, and the Argos season was over. At that time, Concordia was up a set in the number five singles match. But the resilient Argonauts fought back to win the final four singles decisions to take the match.

With no room for error, the Argos started to mount what would become an outstanding come back victory. Twenty-fifth ranked Nicolas Barrientos started the Argonauts' comeback by winning 6-2, 6-4 at No. 2 singles. Diego Zorzi then won at No. 3 by a 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) score, followed by Luiz Bernardi at No. 4 singles by a 7-5, 6-1 score, to square the match at four before Bateman won the decisive team point at No. 5 singles.

After dropping the first set to Concordia's Henning Ruenz 6-3, Bateman battled back in the second set to win 7-6 in a tie-breaker to force a third set. With all other matches finished and the match tied at four, all of the attention at the Memorial Park Tennis Center was focused on Bateman and Ruenz. In the decisive third set, Bateman outlasted Ruenz in a back-and-forth set to take the singles match, by winning the third set 6-4.

The win advances the No. 3 Argonauts into the quarterfinal round where they will meet 9th ranked Hawaii Pacific at 1 p.m. on Thursday. West Florida improved to 23-4 on the season, while the 12th-ranked Clippers finish the year with an 18-3 mark.

Match Results:

No.3 University of West Florida 5, No.12 Concordia College 4

1. No.1 Alex Grubin (CC) def. No.21 Eduardo Cavasotti (UWF) 6-1, 6-4
2. No.25 Nicolas Barrientos (UWF) def. Josep Molet (CC) 6-2, 6-4
3. Diego Zorzi (UWF) def. Nik Boerger (CC) 6-3, 7-6 (7-5)
4. Luiz Bernardi (UWF) def. Rodrigo Teixeira (CC) 7-5, 6-1
5. Patrick Bateman (UWF) def. Henning Ruenz (CC) 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4
6. Kirill Azovtsev (CC) def. Jose Ycaza (UWF) 6-2, 6-4

1. Grubin/Teixeira (CC) def. Cavasotti/Bernardi (UWF) 8-5
2. No.16 Barrientos/Bateman (UWF) def. Malkin/Azovtsev (CC) 8-3
3. Molet/Ruenz (CC) def. Zorzi/Arboleda (UWF) 8-1

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