YOUNG HARRIS, GA - The Belmont Abbey men's tennis team lost a pair of matches today at Young Harris College. First, the Crusaders dropped a 6-3 decision to the host Mountain Lions, then fell 5-1 to North Georgia, in a match ended early due to approaching thunderstorms. Belmont Abbey now stands at 12-8 on the year, while Young Harris moved to 7-7. North Georgia improved to 13-1.
In the morning match against Young Harris, senior Juan Baez, playing at #1 singles, lost the opening set, then won the second 6-2, which forced a tiebreaker. He went on to win the tiebreaking set by a score of 10-6. At the #2 spot sophomore Grant Goldin had a relatively quick 6-4, 6-2 victory. Freshman Zachary Blythe provided the other win for the Crusaders, as he took a 10-6 win in a tiebreaker.
Goldin and Blythe partnered at #2 doubles, where their 9-8 loss was the most competitive doubles battle of the match.
1. Juan Baez (BAC) def. Alex Pavel (YHC) 6-7, 6-2, 10-6
2. Grant Goldin (BAC) def. Tim Fleerkamp (YHC) 6-4, 6-2
3. Mateo Besada (YHC) def. James Delaney (BAC) 3-6, 6-3, 10-6
4. Raul Quevedo (YHC) def. George Barfoot (BAC) 3-6, 6-0, 10-6
5. Zachary Blythe (BAC) def. Javier Villar (YHC) 6-2, 1-6, 10-6
6. Jan-Niklas Graetz (YHC) def. Carlos Nolasco (BAC) 6-1, 4-6, 10-7
1. Alex Pavel/Raul Quevedo (YHC) def. Juan Baez/James Delaney (BAC) 8-4
2. Jan-Niklas Graetz/Javier Villar (YHC) def. Zachary Blythe/Grant Goldin (BAC) 9-8
3. Mateo Besada/ Tim Fleerkamp (YHC) def. Jacob Andress/Michal Rapsik (BAC) 8-6
Head Coach Michael Salomon offered some of his thoughts on the match: "We started off a little slow in doubles, and fell in a 3-0 hole early. However, we battled back in singles with one straight set win and the other five matches going to three sets. We gave them all they could handle in singles and if we can find a way to focus more quickly in doubles, we will continue to see great opportunities in our upcoming matches."
In the afternoon match against the Nighthawks, Barfoot and Delaney teamed up for the Abbey's sole win with a 9-8 victory at #1 doubles. Their performance was very impressive, as they defeated the #18-ranked duo in the nation. Also, Barfoot was up 6-2, 4-1 on the 26th-ranked player in the country when rain fell, causing an early ending to the match
1. Niklas Zielen (UNG) def. Juan Baez (BAC) 6-0, 6-1
2. George Barfoot (BAC) led Alexander Reinauer (UNG) 6-2, 4-1
3. Andre Canino (UNG) led Carlos Nolasco (BAC) 6-4, 5-1
4. Hugues Renaud (UNG) def. Jacob Andress (BAC) 6-2, 6-2
5. Lukas Moitzen (UNG) def Michal Rapsik (BAC) 6-2, 6-0
6. Mark Laishley (UNG) led Tomas Pardo (BAC) 6-0, 5-2
1. George Barfoot/James Delaney (BAC) def. Alexander Reinauer/Niklas Zielen (UNG) 9-8
2. Andre Canino/Lukas Moitzen (UNG) def. Jacob Andress/Michal Rapsik (BAC) 8-1
3. Mark Laishley/Hugues Renaud (UNG) def. Zachary Blythe/Grant Goldin (BAC) 8-5
Coach Salomon offered the following remarks on the contest with UNG: "North Georgia showed why they are one of the top teams in the country, taking two of three doubles as well as three singles matches in short order. We had a great win at #1 doubles, knocking off the second ranked team in the region, and the 18th-ranked team in the country, followed by George being two games away from closing out his opponent at #2 singles before the rain came. This is the kind of level that we can learn from in order to be ready for a deep run in the Conference Carolinas tournament."
Belmont Abbey will next take to the courts on Friday, March 24 when it visits Emmanuel (GA) and Lander.