Tennis 'Cats Beat Concord, Shaw to Improve to 17-4

Tennis 'Cats Beat Concord, Shaw to Improve to 17-4

BLUEFIELD -- The West Virginia Wesleyan men's tennis team scored an important regional win here Saturday with a 6-3 victory over Shaw (N.C.) University.

After losing two of the three doubles matches, the Bobcats battled back to sweep five of the six singles matches for the win.

The 'Cats, ranked fourth in the most recent NCAA regional poll, needed more than five hours to secure the victory as Timothy Stephens scored the clinching point with a 6-4, 6-2 decision at No. 6 singles. The result was similar to last season when Wesleyan beat Shaw 5-4 and Stephens also had the match clincher.

Ferran Berga battled back from a one set deficit to provide the final margin with a 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (2) win at the No. 4 spot.

Ramon Rodriguez and Pedro Nassar provided two points for the Bobcats with a doubles win and straight set victories in singles.

Nathan Sabate had the other point, sweeping his No. 1 singles match by the score of 6-0, 6-3.

"Just a tough day for us, but we hung in there and grounded it when we needed to," said head coach Marc Walters. " Our singles got better as the day went along and true to form the closer the match was the better we played."

A day earlier in Athens, the Bobcats had an easy time of it as they defeeated Concord University in a MEC match.

Wesleyan earned a 9-0 decision.

Earning singles wins were Sabate at No. 1 (6-2, 6-1), Jacobo Rendon at No. 2 (6-1, 6-1), Nassar at No. 3 (6-0, 6-1, Stephens at No. 4 (6-0, 6-0, Andre Fernandes (pictured) at No. 5 (6-0, 6-0) and Anthony Rames at No. 6 (6-0, 6-0)

Geting double wins were Berga and Sabate at No. 1 (8-0), Nassar and Stephens at No. 2 (8-0) and Rendon and Fernandes at No. 3 (8-0).

The Bobcats will now play the University of Charleston on Sunday for a share of the MEC Championship.

Charleston is 6-0 in conference play while the 'Cats enter the match at 5-1 in the MEC, and 17-4 overall.

Charleston is currently ranked seventh in the NCAA regional rankings.

Match time is 3 p.m. at the Kanawha City Tennis Center.