FT. MYERS, Fla. - They had to wait out a five-hour rain delay, but the wait proved to be worth it as the Lipscomb men’s tennis team defeated second-seeded Stetson 4-1 early Sunday morning to advance to the program’s first-ever ASUN Championship.
The Bisons advance to take on No. 4 FGCU at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, becoming the first six seed to reach the championship in ASUN history.
“It was another great effort by our guys so far this week,” Lipscomb head coach Mario Hernandez said. “Coming off a big win the previous night is often the toughest challenge and they handled it well.”
The Hatters jumped out to an early lead in the match, taking the doubles point with wins at the second and third lines.
Lipscomb bounced back for the second straight match to win it in singles play.
The Bisons last two wins come as a result of their tough battles throughout the season.
“We had many opportunities to throw in the towel after tough losses in the regular season and our guys have never given up on their goals. They're now seeing the payoff of having that never quit attitude.”
Junior Alejandro Manzanares got things started for the Bisons with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Angus Bradshaw at the second line.
Rob Mitchell and Victor Chaw dropped their opening sets at the first and third lines, respectfully, but came back to pick up two big wins for the Bisons.
Stepping into the sixth spot, sophomore George Wong clinched the win for the Bisons with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Coilin MacNamara.
Hernandez had a hard time describing the effort of Wong, stepping up in such a big spot.
“Everyone is so proud of George for how he stepped up,” Hernandez said. “That's not easy to do and to really do it for the first time in one of our program's most important matches, it's impressive and he should take loads of confidence from what he did last night.”
The Bisons dropped a 5-2 decision to FGCU during the regular season in a match where they dropped two matches in three sets.
You can watch as the Bisons go for their first-ever ASUN Championship as Sunday’s match will be broadcast live on ESPN3, streaming on the watchESPN app.
“Sleep, eat, and recover. That's all we can focus on but I'm not worried for our guys. I know the adrenaline and excitement of this opportunity is the best medicine for a quick turnaround. Our boys will be ready to represent Lipscomb in their first ASUN Conference Tournament Final.”
No. 6 Lipscomb 4 – No. 4. Stetson 1
- Loic Blanco/Colter Decoste (SU) vs. Alejandro Manzanares/Victor Chaw (LIP) 5-4, DNF
- Angus Bradshaw/William Shkrob (SU) def. Rob Mitchell/Daniel Cardenas (LIP) 6-1
- Graham Bell/Coilin MacNamara (SU) def. Thais Minet/Jorge Ortegon (LIP) 6-2
- Rob Mitchell (LIP) def. Loic Blanco (SU) 3-6, 7-6, 6-3
- Alejandro Manzanares (LIP) def. Angus Bradshaw (SU) 6-3, 6-2
- Victor Chaw (LIP) def. Graham Bell (SU) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
- Daniel Cardenas (LIP) vs. William Shkrob (SU) 6-3, 1-6, 4-3, DNF
- Jorge Ortegon (LIP) vs. Colter Decoste (SU) 6-3, 3-6, 3-3, DNF
- George Wong (LIP) def. Coilin MacNamara (SU) 6-3, 6-2