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Lancers net first Region X tennis crown

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USCL tops Spartanburg Methodist, 6-3

By The Staff

 

   

The University of South Carolina at Lancaster men’s tennis team captured its first Region X championship with a 6-3 win over Spartanburg Methodist College.

In front of the biggest crowd of the season, the Lancers got on top early by taking two out of the three doubles matches.

The first point of the day came at number three doubles, where sophomore John Michael Catalano and freshmen Matt Canelon beat Stephen Higginbotham and Johnathan Connor, 8-1.  Next off the court were freshmen Joey Nylund and Justin Lewis as they defeated Corey White and David Manley 8-4.

USCL never yielded, as the Lancers took the first four singles matches that finished to claim the victory.

 Number one, three and four singles all finished in a matter of minutes to give the Lancers the thrilling win, its biggest in its short three-year history. The title is the school’s second Region X championship.  The first came in 2008 as the men’s golf team won the Division III Region X championship.

The team was presented the Region X trophy after the match. USCL coach Brian Clark accepted the trophy and then quickly handed it off to his players who had worked to earn it.

In addition, Clark earned Region X Coach of the Year honors for leading the Lancers to the region championship.

“I am so proud of our team and the passion that they portrayed throughout the day,” Clark said.  “I could tell early on that the guys wanted the championship so bad and you could see that SMC was going to have a hard time denying it from them.”

It is clear the foundation has been established for the men’s tennis program at USCL

The Region X title was a major goal for the team this season and now that it has been acheived, it is time to start preparing for the national championship in Plano, Texas.

The tournament is May 16-21.  The team will finish its exams in about three weeks and then have about two weeks to prepare before flying out to Texas.

“This is a great day for our team and for our university,” said Clark.  “There are a lot of people to thank for giving our players this opportunity and it is great to see the guys work hard and accomplish something that no one can take away from them for the rest of their lives.”

The Lancers have a match left for the regular season. USCL travels to Hickory, N.C., to take on Lenoir Rhyne University on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Singles

Pedro Rodriguez (USCL) def. M. Barcela (SMC), 6-0, 6-3

Corey White (SMC) def. Henry Remache (USCL), 4-6, 6-2, 10-8

Justin Lewis (USCL) def. T. Lanford (SMC), 6-2, 6-0

Matt Canelon (USCL) def. D. Manley (SMC), 6-3, 6-0

Stephen Higginbotham (SMC) def. Joey Nylund (USCL), 6-3, 6-3

J.M. Catalano (USCL) def. J. Connor (SMC), 6-3, 6-2

Doubles

Barcela/Lanford (SMC) def. Rodriguez/Remache (USCL), 8-6

Lewis/Nylund (USCL) def. White/Manley(SMC), 8-4

Canelon/Catalano (USCL) def. Higginbotham/Connor (SMC), 8-1