SAVANNAH, Ga. - The top-ranked and defending NCAA Division II national champion Armstrong Atlantic State University men's tennis team blanked Limestone, 5-0, to begin its title defense at the NCAA Southeast Regional on Sunday afternoon at Bacon Park.
The Pirates (23-1) advance to face No. 17 Georgia College - 5-2 winners over Francis Marion - at 10:00 a.m. on Monday at Bacon Park, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Division II Round of 16 in Surprise, Ariz., on May 8-11. Limestone, who won its first NCAA contest on Saturday, sees its season come to a close at 19-8.
Armstrong swept all three doubles matches to take a 3-0 lead heading into singles play. The top-ranked doubles duo of Daniel Regan and Georgi Rumenov bested the No. 11-ranked duo of Rafael Ferla and Carlos Yanes, 8-2, at No. 1 doubles. No. 6-ranked Sven Lalic and Pedro Scocuglia downed Lucas Guinski and Antoine le Dore, 8-1, at No. 2 doubles, while Jaan Kononov and Matus Mydla beat Daniel Lopez and Austin McAlister, 8-2, at No. 3 doubles.
The Pirates then clinched the match with wins at the bottom two singles slots. Pablo Gor picked up a 6-3, 6-1 win over Benji Lascari Diaz at No. 5 singles, while Kononov finished off the match with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Lopez at No. 6 singles.
Armstrong faces off against Georgia College in the regionals for a second straight year - the Pirates knocked off the Bobcats, 5-0, in last year's region final to earn a trip to the NCAA Round of 16 en route to the program's third national title.