Argos to Play for the National Championship
UWF Defeats Augusta State; Argos to Face No. 1 Armstrong in Finals
Related Item: Box Score
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The No. 2 ranked West Florida men’s tennis team (28-2) will play for its third national championship tomorrow as the Argos defeated No. 21 Augusta State, 5-0, today in the semifinals to advance to the finals of the NCAA Championships. West Florida has won 19 straight matches. Augusta State’s season ends with a 19-10 record.
“It was a very good victory for us,” said UWF head coach Derrick Racine. “We jumped out and took all three doubles, which we knew we wanted to do against Augusta State. Coming into singles, we thought we were maybe going to roll through a couple quickly, but they fought hard. We ended up pulling it off.”
West Florida swept doubles. At the No. 2 position, the No. 18-ranked duo of Leandro Ferreira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Andrey Pozhidaev (Sochi, Russia) defeated Victor Cabellos and Victor Guimaraes, 8-4. Ferreira and Pozhidaev have won their last 15 matches. Second to finish were Argonauts Mike Lue (Richmond Hill, Ontario) and Domenico Sano (Macaray, Venezuela), tallying an 8-4 victory over Jan Labas and Jenner Stevenson at the No. 3 position. The No. 2-ranked doubles tandem of Kevin Ducros (Aix-en-Provence, France) and Bruno Savi (Santana do Livramento, Brazil) defeated No. 25-ranked Henrique Boturao and Bernardo Fernandes, 8-5, to give the Argos the sweep. Ducros and Savi are 25-4 at the No. 1 position and have won their last seven matches.
The Argos were leading 3-0 as singles got underway. At No. 6, Sano won his first set against Jenner Stevenson, 6-4, and then blanked him in the second set, 6-0, bringing the Argos within one point of the victory. Sano is 15-5 overall this season. With the matches at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions both one game away from an Argonaut team victory, it was Savi that clinched the match. At No. 2, he recorded a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Boturao and sent the Argos to the finals. Play on all other courts was halted once the overall team victory was won.
ROAD TO THE FINALS
West Florida, the Gulf South Conference champions, have won their last 19 matches. UWF received the No. 1 seed in the South Region and hosted and won NCAA South Regional #1, punching the Argos’ ticket to Louisville. On Thursday morning, the Argos defeated No. 42 Nebraska Kearney, 5-0, in the round of 16 to advance into the semifinals. The Argos defeated No. 12 Ouachita Baptist, 6-0, last night in the semifinals.
It is the fourth time that the Argos have reached the finals. UWF won national championship titles in 2004 and 2005 and fell in the finals in 1997. Armstrong is 29-0 this season. The Pirates won the national championship in 2008 and 2009.
This will be the second meeting between West Florida and Armstrong this season. On Feb. 25th, then No. 3-ranked Armstrong defeated then No. 7-ranked UWF, 9-0, in a neutral site match in Columbus, Ga. The match was UWF’s only Division II loss of the season.
About tomorrow’s match up, Coach Racine said: “We are going to have to play our best tennis of the year. We are going to need to step up and play the big points when the big points come and just play with confidence. I think we can do it. I think the guys are confident, and there’s no doubt that they really want it.”
West Florida and Armstrong will meet in the finals tomorrow at the Top Gun Tennis Academy in Louisville, Ky. First serve is set for 1 p.m. eastern. Live video and stats links can be found at NCAA.com. Results and a recap from the match will be available on GoArgos.com. For information on all UWF Athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.
#2 West Florida 5, #21 Augusta State 0
05/18/12 at Louisville, Ky. (Top Gun Tennis Academy)
NCAA Championships – Semifinals
1. No. 7 Kevin Ducros (UWF) vs. #25 Bernardo Fernandes (AUG) 6-4, 5-3 unfinished
2. No. 11 Bruno Savi (UWF) def. Henrique Boturao (AUG) 6-2, 6-2
3. No. 20 Andrey Pozhidaev (UWF) vs. Victor Cabellos (AUG) 7-6, 1-0 unfinished
4. Jan Labas (AUG) vs. Leandro Ferreira (UWF) 6-3, 4-5 unfinished
5. Victor Guimaraes (AUG) vs. Elio Latela (UWF) 6-3, 3-5 unfinished
6. Domenico Sano (UWF) def. Jenner Stevenson (AUG) 6-4, 6-0
1. #2 Bruno Savi/Kevin Ducros (UWF) def. #13 Henrique Boturao/Bernardo Fernandes (AUG) 8-5
2. #18 Leandro Ferreira/Andrey Pozhidaev (UWF) def. Victor Cabellos/Victor Guimaraes (AUG) 8-4
3. Mike Lue/Domenico Sano (UWF) def. Jan Labas/Jenner Stevenson (AUG) 8-4
West Florida 28-2; National Ranking #2; South Region #1
Augusta State 19-10; National Ranking #21; Southeast Region #6
Order of Finish: D2, D3, D1, S6, S2
West Florida advances to the finals and will face No. 1 Armstrong tomorrow at 1 p.m. eastern at the Top Gun Tennis Academy in Louisville, Ky.
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