DeLand, Fla. - A dramatic back-and-forth match saw fourth-seeded Stetson (20-9) knock off 71st-ranked top seed UNF (16-7) 4-2 in the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Conference men's tennis tournament at Mandy Stoll Tennis Center on Friday. Both the doubles point and clinching singles point went to tiebreakers as the Hatters prevailed to advance to their sixth consecutive A-Sun tournament championship match.
The two teams split a pair of 8-6 decisions on Courts 1 and 3, bringing the doubles point down to Court 2 where junior Maksim Levanovich (Minsk, Belarus) and sophomore Didrik Berg (Oslo, Norway) edged Moritz Buerchner and Beauregard Treyz 9-8 in a tiebreaker to give the Hatters a 1-0 advantage.
Stetson extended its lead to 3-0 in the early portion of singles as Levanovich dropped Hleb Maslau 6-0, 6-3 on Court 1 and senior Alex Hackett (Surrey, England) defeated Treyz 6-3, 6-3 on Court 5. Then it would be UNF's turn to put the pressure on as the Ospreys earned points from Buerchner (7-6, 6-3 over Njal Stene on Court 2) and Leonardo Nahar (6-3, 6-2 on Court 6 against Hans Adrian Riseng) to cut the Stetson lead to 3-2.
Two simultaneous tie-breakers on Courts 3 and 5 would enthrall the large crowd on hand to witness the first 4-over-1 upset in the A-Sun men's tennis tournament since 2006 and only the second since 1996. Junior Cesare Gallo (Portogruaro, Italy) finally put the clinching fourth point in Stetson's column, sinking Daniel Sotomarino 6-4, 7-6 on Court 3. Berg was himself just one point from doing likewise in an unfinished 3-6, 6-4, 6-6 thriller with UNF's Pedro Davisson when play was called due to time constraints.
Stetson will take on either second-seeded ETSU or third-seeded Campbell at 1 p.m. tomorrow with the A-Sun title on the line. The Hatters will be seeking their first championship in school history. Live Scoring and free video streaming are available at GoHatters.com.
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