DeLand, Fla. - The Stetson men's tennis team (6-1) rallied for two third-set victories in the final singles matches of the day to cap an epic four-hour marathon victory over visiting Penn (5-2) at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center on Monday afternoon. Junior Didrik Berg (Oslo, Norway) clinched the winning point in a tiebreaker at the end of the third set while senior Maksim Levanovich (Minsk, Belarus) defeated the nation's 83rd-ranked singles player.
Stetson swept the doubles point relatively quickly, getting an 8-2 win from sophomore Hans Adrian Riseng (Oslo, Norway) and senior Njal Stene (Oslo, Norway) on Court 1 and identical 8-4 Court 2 and 3 victories from the pairs of freshman Chester Espie (Auckland, New Zealand)/Levanovich and Berg/freshman Nathan Debut (Toulon, France).
The Hatters extended their lead to 2-0 when Levanovich picked up the biggest win of his season to date, sweeping Penn's top player, national #83 Ivan Turudic 6-4, 6-2 on Court 1. The Quakers got wins in the next three matches to put them on the verge of pulling off the victory, but both Berg and Debut staved off Phil Law and Jason Lin, respectively, on Courts 3 and 5 in their second sets.
Needing to win both third sets to take the match 4-3, Debut cleared through Lin for the 6-7, 7-5, 6-1 win while Berg battled Law into a 6-6 tie and then won the tiebreaker for a 6-7, 6-1, 7-6 triumph to put the match in the win column for Stetson.
"What a great college tennis match both teams played today," Stetson Director of Tennis Pierre Pilote said. "Penn came back strong in singles after our doubles point, but once again our conditioning program let us count on our guys to keep getting better the longer the match went. Both Nathan and Didrik could have kept on playing after the match ended. I'm also really proud of Max (Levanovich) for his great win over the #83 player in the country."
Stetson is back in action at 12:00 pm Wednesday for a huge home test against 32nd-ranked Memphis at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center. Live Scoring will be available at GoHatters.com.
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