Lions extinguish Blazers in 5-3 South Regional win

Lions extinguish Blazers in 5-3 South Regional win

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – Opening the NCAA Division II South Regional, the No. 5 Saint Leo men's tennis team edged No. 9 Valdosta State by a 5-3 final score at the Buccaneers Tennis Complex, Saturday.

The Lions advance to the regional final match against host Barry University and continue their season with a 16-5 record while the Blazers conclude their 2015 campaign with a 15-8 overall tally.

The close contest came down to the wire, as the final four courts each were forced to a decisive third set.

Bruno Sisti clinched the match in singles action, dueling VSU athlete Edward Nguyen to a three-set, marathon victory.  Sisti won by 2-6, 7-6(7-3) and 6-4 sets to clinch the win and punch the Green and Gold ticket to the regional final.

Oskar Nurmio set the table for Sisti, besting Ramon Weil in three sets, giving Saint Leo a 4-3 advantage with two courts still in play.

Valdosta carried a 2-1 lead at the conclusion of doubles play, as Fons Verberne and Netanel Alcabas earned the lone tandem win for the Lions, defeating Francisco Yim Kim and Joachim Schemm by an 8-3 final score.

In the top court, Blazers No. 22-ranked athlete Leo Blay defeated All-SSC First Team selection and No. 13 Alex Theiler by 7-5 and 6-2 sets as the last point for VSU.

Alcabas and Guillaume Vanelven would draw the match even in singles action, as freshman Alcabas outdueled Francisco Yim Kim for the second time in the match, winning by a pair of 7-6(7-5) and 6-4 sets.  All-SSC Second Team selection Vanelven battled Gereon Heitmann to a three-set win, tying the contest at 3-3 for Nurmio and Sisti to pull away with a Saint Leo win.

The Lions will meet No. 2 Barry on Sunday, May 3 at 9 a.m. with a trip to the NCAA Tennis Championship on the line.  Live stats will be made available through www.saintleolions.com courtesy of Barry University.

For more information on the Saint Leo men's tennis program, visit SaintLeoLions.com.  Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.