#1 Saint Leo is NCAA title match bound

#1 Saint Leo is NCAA title match bound

DENVER, COLO. – The No. 1 Saint Leo men's tennis team is heading to their first NCAA National Championship match after taking down No. 2 Armstrong State, 5-2, in the National Semifinal match.

Egor Panyushkin climbed to a 4-2 lead in the third set and despite a fight from his opponent Luca Cerin, Panyushkin clinched the match in a come-from-behind victory, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, to send Saint Leo to the National Championship match.

The Lions got their first point in singles action when No. 4-ranked freshman Alberto Barroso-Campos took down No. 5-ranked Pablo Gor, 6-3, 6-2 in commanding fashion in the No.1 flight.

No. 15-ranked Alex Theiler added a win at No. 2's to give the Lions a sweep of the top-three flights after taking out No. 21-ranked Otakar Lucak, 6-1, 6-2.

The Lions went down 1-0 after Armstrong State's No. 2 doubles team of Pablo Gor and Ignacio Hernadez, the No. 12 doubles pair in the nation, took down Jaime Bueno and Egor Panyushkin, the No. 20 pair in the nation, 8-1.

But Saint Leo rebounded at the No. 3 duo of Oskar Nurmio and Francisco Aparicio topped Luca Cerin and Marek Pesicka, 8-6, starting down 2-1.

In a top 10 match up, Saint Leo's No.1 pair, who also happen to be the No. 1 duo in the nation, took down the No. 10 pair of Alberto Casas and Jan Porteset, 8-6. The pair of Lions broke serve in the sixth game to take control of the set, and helped the team go up 2-1.

This was the second meeting of these two teams as they matched up on March, 5. Saint Leo took that match 7-2. The Lions are now 27-1 on the season.

That one loss came to then-No.1 Hawaii Pacific in Denver, Colo., back on March 19. However back in that match, the two teams had to play indoors due to weather. On Saturday afternoon, when Saint Leo and now-ranked No. 3 Hawaii Pacific meet in the NCAA Championship, there will be no snow on the ground, and it will be a different setting. The match is at 3 p.m. ET.

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.

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