Written by Marquez Slaughter, Staff Writer
VSU can add another championship banner to its wall.
Saturday’s win earned the men Blazers their 11th all-time GSC championship title.
The VSU men’s tennis team rallied against teams in Pensacola, Florida, before heading to Montgomery, Alabama, to reserve a spot in the NCAA Division II last Saturday. They defeated the No. 4 West Florida Argonauts in their Gulf South Conference championship meeting.
The Blazers took on Delta State Statesmen on Thursday, then No. 36 North Alabama Lions on Friday in the first two of three games in the GSC tournament. They beat both teams 5-0.
The lead in the championship game began with the Argonauts ahead. Then, the momentum shifted after the sophomores Leo Blay and Xavier Pineda obtained a payback 8-1 win at No. 2 position doubles against Juan Pablo Boada and Pedro Rouse who had defeated them March 25.
Nationally ranked at No. 8, Blay defeated the No. 7 Alex Peyrot for the second time this season with a result of 6-3, 7-6 on Saturday.
Junior Gereon Heitmann also beat his Argonaut opponent, Boada, with 6-2, 6-2 for the second time this season at the No. 2 position, and Pineda took his second win against Douglas Boe 6-0, 6-4 at No. 6.
The clutch moment of sophomore Fernando Rivas gave the Blazers the advantage to win the tournament when he went head to head with Kenny Brasil.
The overall score before Rivas and Brasil took the court was 4-4 and it was down to the No. 3 match before the Blazers could have their hands on the GSC trophy.
Rivas won his first set 7-6, then lost the second 0-6.
The sophomore bounced back from the losing set and finished the tourney with a 6-4 win against Brasil.
The Blazers did well this season and maintain an overall record of 15-6 and a GSC record of 11-1.
The women’s team won their first two of three games in the GSC tournament against the Statesmen (5-1) and West Alabama Tigers (5-0), but concluded its tournament experience with a 1-5 lost to the Argonauts.
The women finish their season 13-8 with an 8-3 GSC record. They and the men will wait until May 3 for the announcement of the national tournament standings.
Both teams finish with winning records and a national ranking. They will have chances to prove their potential in May and increase their ranking.