LAKELAND, Fla. – The No.18-ranked Saint Leo men's tennis team (16-5) turned a 2-1 doubles deficit into a 5-2 defeat of the Florida Southern College Moccasins, Thursday afternoon from the Beerman Tennis Complex in Lakeland, Fla. The win advances Saint Leo to the semifinal round of the Sunshine State Conference Championships.
The Lions got off to a flying start at doubles as the No.8-ranked tandem of Matt Nicholson-Lewis and Victor Lozier controlled their match with the Mocs' top pair, 8-5. However, Florida Southern returned the favor with a pair of 8-5 decisions at two and three doubles to claim the lead, 2-1.
However, Saint Leo rallied-off four consecutive singles wins to complete the come-from-behind win.
Antonine Raffaelli started the push forward as he defeated Jorge Gutierrez in consecutive sets, 6-1, 6-1, at No.6 doubles. Jacobo Gonzalez-Tarrio gave the Lions the lead at four-flight as he bounced Nathan Leavtt in straight-sets, 6-0, 6-2.
Matt Nicholson-Lewis, ranked No.33 in the country, conquered Emanuel Lueber, 6-0, 6-4, while Aloua Adjenak completed the victory as he came from a set down to overthrow Benoit Paradis, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1.
The Lions have now won a record three-straight wins over the rival Mocs.
The Lions win earns them a spot in the semifinals against top-seeded and No.3-ranked Lynn University. Doubles is set to begin at 9 a.m. from the Beerman Tennis Center in Lakeland, Fla.
For more on the nationally-ranked men's tennis team, visit SaintLeoLions.com.