GASTONIA (NC) — West Virginia Wesleyan grabbed a 5-2 victory over Belmont Abbey College in men’s tennis action here Tuesday.
The Bobcats finished their long weekend trip at 2-1 overall following a 7-0 win over Lake Superior State University on Thursday and a 5-2 defeat at No. 17 Queens University of Charlotte on Monday.
With the weather outlook the rest of the week in the Carolinas being in doubt, the Bobcats adjusted their schedule for the trip and finished two days early.
On Tuesday against the Crusaders, Wesleyan used a rare doubles sweep to take control of the match early, and then kept the pressure on by taking the first sets in four of the six singles matches.
Alexander Lyudinovskiy continued his torrid start to the season, trouncing Belmont Abbey’s Wlayimer Jiminez 6-2, 6-0 at No. 5 singles to get the ‘Cats rolling.
No. 6 Christos Kyrillou saw his opponent retire due to injury while leading 5-2 in the first set, pushing the Bobcats lead to 3-1 overall.
The clincher came at No. 2 singles where Carlos Dodero captured a second set tie breaker at 7-5 to finish off a 6-2, 7–6 effort and give the Bobcats and important inter-regional team win.
Maycon Santos Dias finished the scoring for Wesleyan with a hard-earned 7-6 (4), 7-5 win at the No. 2 spot.
“It was a really nice team effort today all the way down the line,” said West Virginia Wesleyan head coach Marc Walters, who saw his team raise their overall record to 3-3 on the season.
“I was a little shocked that we came out so strong in doubles on their courts, but we have a couple teams playing with confidence and momentum, which is a factor in the new short format we play now,” said Walters.
For the second day in a row, Dodero and Dias won against a solid doubles tandem to lead the Bobcats. Their 6-0 win set the tone for the sweep, as the ‘Cats No. 2 and No. 3 teams each pulled away for convincing wins.
“Getting the doubles point is a bit of a luxury for us, since last year we dropped it more than half the time in our best wins,” explained the Walters. “The guys didn’t let that affect them today, and they kept a professional approach all through their matches start to finish.”
Wesleyan is off until March 15-16 when they travel to Erie, Pa. to take on regionally ranked Edinboro and Mercyhurst.
The ‘Cats hit with the Fighting Scots on Friday and then square off with the Lakers on Saturday.