WINGATE (NC) – The West Virginia Wesleyan’s men’s tennis team fell at the hands of No. 7 ranked Wingate University here by the score of 6-1, despite splitting sets with the Bulldogs in four of the singles matches this past Thursday.
The Bobcats battled the reigning SAC Conference champions for more than four hours before the match was decided, with Lukas Laipold, Carlos Dodero, Maycon Santos Dias and Alexander Lyudinovskiy all reaching third sets with their opponents.
Only Dodero was able to finish with a win, but West Virginia Wesleyan head coach Marc Walters was optimistic with the result.
“We got off to a bit of a slow start physically, mostly because we weren’t ready for 85 degree weather and hot humidity in North Carolina,” Walters said. “But the guys fought through it and I was very pleased with the effort and ability to put ourselves in a position to win despite the obstacles.”
While Laipold won the first set against top 20 opponent Daniel Belsito on court one, Dodero recovered from a first set tiebreak loss to win 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 over Wingate’s Matt Jones.
Dodero has to take a five-minute medical break deep in the first set after becoming physically sick on the court, up 6-5. The sophomore-transfer battled back from one set down, and 3-0 in the second to claim the ‘Cats only point.
But it was far from the only bright spot for the number four-ranked team in the Atlantic region.
Santos Dias had the match of the day on court three, before falling 7-6, 3-6, 5-7 to Pep Canydel. The match lasted three hours, and was back and forth the entire way.
Lyudinovskiy also won the first set at No. 5, so at one point the Bobcats, who trailed 3-0 in the match, held the lead on four courts with a chance to win.
“We needed the heat, and we got it, and we needed a quality opponent who would push us deep and we got that, too,” said Walters, whose team saw a seven match winning streak come to an end. “With the long drive, heat, short turnaround, and final exams, we dealt with some things that help toughen us up for a big date with Bluefield State and the conference next weekend,” he noted.
The Bobcats were slated to take a break from final exams on Sunday to host No. 43 Bluefield State.
Wesleyan dropped to 14-6 overall and 7-0 in Mountain East Conference play after defeating Concord Wednesday afternoon on the trip down to North Carolina.
The Bobcats claimed MEC regular season title by virtue of their undefeated conference record and will be the top seed in the upcoming MEC Tournament in Huntington on May 3-5.
Wingate 6 WVWC 1
No. 1 — Daniel Belsito (W) def. Lukas Laipold 3-6, 6-4, 6-0
No. 2 — Carlos Dodero (WVWC) def. Matthew Jones 6-7, 6-4, 6-3
No. 3 — Josep Canyadell Fabregas (W) def. Maycon Santos Dias 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-5
No. 4 — Tolunay Sumer (W) def. Charalampos Simaioforidis 6-4, 7-5
No. 5 — Enrico Giacomini (W) def. Alex Lyudinovskiy 3-6, 6-3, 1-0(9)
No. 6 — Christian Della Cioppa (W) def. Thomas McIntosh 6-0, 6-0
No. 1 — Daniel Belsito / Josep Canyadell Fabregas def. Carlos Dodero / Maycon Santos Dias 6-3
No. 2 —Duncan Addison / Matthew Jones def. Charalampos Simaioforidis / Christos Kyrillou 6-0
No. 3 — Tolunay Sumer / Enrico Giacomini def. Lukas Laipold / Thomas McIntosh 6-4