Blue Raiders drop heartbreaker in SBC Championships

NCAA Selection Show held April 23 will decide MT's fate

April 20, 2013 · @MTAthletics

LAFAYETTE, La. - The No. 49 Middle Tennessee tennis team dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 contest to Georgia State in the Sun Belt Conference Championship Finals on Saturday at the Cajun Courts.

Middle Tennessee opened to a 3-0 lead before the Panthers won four consecutive points to claim a Sun Belt title in their first year in the league.

"Georgia State was better than us today," head coach Jimmy Borendame said.  "I feel terrible for our senior Dimitri Pippos to end his career like this.  I am personally sorry to the Blue Raiders' fans for not being able to pull this match out."

The Raiders claimed the doubles point with a pair of hard fought victories at courts one and three. The tandem of Marlon Brand and Yannick Born collected an 8-6 victory at No. 3 doubles.

The No. 67 tandem of Ben Davis and Victor Cornea then snatched an 8-5 win over Victor Valente and Lucas Santa Ana in No. 1 doubles.

David Fox won his eighth straight match to open up singles play. The freshman collected a straight-set win of 6-3, 6-2 over GSU's Sofiane Chevallier at the five position. The Raiders added its third point when freshman Victor Cornea collected a 6-1, 6-2 contest over Thomas Cook.

Cornea earned All-Tournament Team honors for his performance, as he outscored his opponents 24-6 in four sets over the two days.

The Panthers struck back with their first point when No. 89 Valente collected a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Davis in No. 1 singles. GSU tightened the gap with Santa Ana's comeback win over Christoph Lang. Lang opened the match with a 6-1 win, but fell 4-6 in the second and lost the point 2-6 in the decisive third set.

In No. 6 singles, Yannick Born rallied from a 4-6 loss to win the second set 6-2 over Paul Schuette. However, Schutte used a long rally to come from behind and beat Born 7-6 (4) to even the match at 3-3 and put the focus on No. 4 singles.

In the decisive match at No. 4 singles, Ettore Zito opened the match with a 6-3 win. Robert Schulze equalized the contest with a 6-4 win. Zito then fell, 7-6 (7-4) in the third set.

MT will now wait to learn its fate at the NCAA Championships Selection Show on April 23.

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