BUCKHANNON -- West Virginia Wesleyan inched closer to a second consecutive regular season title with two Moiuntain East Conference wins here Saturday.
In their first match of the day, the 'Cats edged rival University of Charleston 5-4 before rolling past UVa.-Wise 9-0 in the nightcap.
The two wins raise Wesleyan to 13-6 overall and 5-1 in the MEC which is good for a tie atop the conference standings with West Liberty and Fairmont State.
A win Monday against Shepherd will give the Bobcats a share of the league title. That match is set for noon at the Bobcat Tennis complex and is a Senior Day event for Wesleyan's Jacobo Rendon, Nathan Sabate, Timothy Stephens and Jose Titonel.
In the opener with UC, the 'Cats once again fell behind 3-1 after dropping two of the doubles matches and the No. 2 singles spot. Only a win at No. 3 doubles by Rendon and Ferran Berga (pictured) stemmed the tide, before the Bobcats roared back by taking the bottom four courts in straight sets to seal the win.
Ramon Rodriguez, who trailed 5-2 and faced set points, rallied to take a 7-5, 6-2 win at No. 3 singles to spark his teammate and help the 'Cats surge back into the match. Berga, Redndon, and Alexander Lyudinovskiy provided the depth as the Bobcats clinched the dual in just under four hours.
"Our guys seem to be playing better every match and hitting their stride," said head coach Marc Walters, whose squad stretched their winning streak to seven with the wins.
"They also are winning in spite of their coach," said Walters dryly, "Since I can't seem to put more than one doubles point together for them to work with. Luckily, we have some terrific depth we can rely on in singles to make up for my meddling."
In the second match, which was interrupted and ultimately shortened by rain showers, Lyudinovskiy jumped up to play the top singles spot for the 'Cats, where he defeated former MEC Freshman of the Year Andrei Rutyniski 8-5.
Following their match with Shepherd and a tentative match with Davis & Elkins on Tuesday, the Bobcats will begin play in the MEC Tournament on Friday in Huntington.