Paducah, KY – For the first time since 1974, Austin Peay State University men’s tennis team has earned the right to call itself Ohio Valley Conference Champion.
The Govs defeated Belmont, 4-1, in the finals of the OVC Tournament Championship at Heflin Tennis Center, Sunday, to secure the second conference title in program history.The win also earned the Govs a spot in next month’s NCAA Tournament, May 10th-12th.
Austin Peay (17-3) defeated the Bruins for the second time in three weeks, ending Belmont’s first season in the OVC at 9-14 and runner-up in the conference championship.
The Govs opened the day by taking the doubles point in emphatic fashion. After falling behind two sets, senior Sean Bailey and junior Jasmin Ademovic rallied back for an 8-6 win at No. 1, while senior John Storie and sophomore Aleksas Tverijonas jumped out to a huge lead and cruised to a comfortable 8-3 victory. Bailey and Ademovic are now 14-3 as a doubles pair in 2013.
Sophomore Aleksas Tverijonas struck the first blow in singles play. The Lithuanian defeated Bruno Silva, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 4 singles to put the Govs ahead 2-0. Tverijonas’ magical spring season now puts him at 18-1.
The Govs suffered a loss when junior Jasmin Ademovic fell to former Gov Henrique Norbiato, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 2 singles, but almost immediately responded with a victory from senior John Storie. The Johnson City, Tennessee, native gave the Govs a cushion with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Henrik Claesson at No. 5 singles, and his four-match win streak is currently the Govs longest.
That put the onus on sophomore Dimitar Ristovski to bring home the title. The Macedonian, who saw his 16-match win streak come to an end in Saturday’s loss to Eastern Kentucky, got his redemption and then some with a championship-clinching 6-4, 7-5 victory over the Bruins Fernando Mussolini at No. 3 singles.
The newly-minted champions will have a wait before finding out their next opponent. The NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament Championship selection show will be streamed 4:00pm (CT), April 30th, at www. NCAA.com.
April 21st, 2013 at Paducah, KY (Helfin Tennis Center)
|1. BAILEY, Sean (APSU) vs. Renato Antun (BELM) unfinished|
|2. Henrique Norbiato (BELM) def. ADEMOVIC, Jasmin (APSU) 6-3, 6-4|
|3. RISTOVSKI, Dimitar (APSU) def. Fernando Mussolini (BELM) 6-4, 7-5|
|4. TVERIJONAS, Aleksas (APSU) def. Bruno Silva (BELM) 6-3, 6-3|
|5. STORIE, John (APSU) def. Henrik Claesson (BELM) 6-3, 6-4|
|6. SEFFRIN, Iago (APSU) vs. Navarro Veys (BELM) unfinished|
|1. BAILEY, Sean/ADEMOVIC, Jasmin (APSU) def. Renato Antun/Henrique Norbiato (BELM) 8-6|
|2. Fernando Mussolini/Navarro Veys (BELM) vs. SEFFRIN, Iago/RISTOVSKI, Dimitar (APSU) no result|
|3. TVERIJONAS, Aleksas/STORIE, John (APSU) def. Bruno Silva/Henrik Claesson (BELM) 8-3|
|Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (4,2,5,3)|