LAKELAND, Fla. – The Saint Leo men's tennis team (17-6) finished-off their postponed match with the No.6-ranked Rollins College Tars (15-8) as they defeated the Tars, 5-3, in the third-place match of the Florida Blue Sunshine State Conference men's tennis championships, Sunday afternoon from the Beerman Tennis Center.
The win is first-ever victory against their conference rival.
Falling in two-of-three doubles matches, the Lions rallied-off four singles win en route to the upset.
Later, despite Rollins collecting the first singles point, Antoine Raffaelli, the Lions' six-slot player, ousted Bernardo Barroso in straight-sets, 6-1, 6-2. Victor Lozier tied the match at three apiece after downing Malte Christesen, with identical 6-4, 6-4, scores.
Matt Nicholson-Lewis then shocked the No.6-ranked player in country, Jeff Morris, at No.2 singles as he blew past his opponent, 6-3 and 6-1.
Up 4-3, the Lions' Jacobo Gonzalez-Tarrio bounced his opponent, Ari Davis, in the first set, 6-4. With rain looming, the two exchanged points until Davis gained a 5-3 lead in the second set. From that point forward, Saint Leo's four-flight player held and broke Davis' serve to tie the match at five apiece. Moving forward, Gonzalez-Tarrio held one more time to retake the lead, 6-5. With Davis serving, and Gonzalez-Tarrio being challenged with a multitude of delays by his opponent, the Lions' freshman gained a 40-15 advantage on Davis before rain suspended action for the evening.
Arriving on Sunday and only needing one point to secure the win, Jacobo received the Davis serve. After a back-and-forth rally, Davis sent the final stroke of the contest into the net to officially give Saint Leo the win.
Additionally, Aloud Adjenak played remarkable tennis as he took the opening set of his match with the No.2-ranked Lucas Jovita, 7-6.
The Lions now await word on seeding for the NCAA South Region Tournament, which is set to being on Sunday, April 29.
For more on the Saint Leo men's tennis team, visit SaintLeoLions.com.