CCU

Chants Take Down Defending Champs Radford

       

Leo Christofides

Leo Christofides

Feb. 24, 2013

CONWAY - Gritty singles play by the Coastal Carolina men’s tennis team propelled the Chants to a thrilling 4-3 win Sunday over the defending Big South champions Radford. It is the first time since 1995 that Coastal has defeated the Highlanders, the winners of five of the past six Big South Championships.

The victory in Coastal’s first conference match of the season advances the Chants to 3-2 overall, 1-0 in the Big South. Radford meanwhile drops to 0-3 (0-1).

Radford took control of the match early, winning two of the three doubles matches to take the first point.

Patrick O’Keefe and Joe Mills of Radford handed Leo Christofides and John Karle their first doubles loss of the season at No. 3. The Chants then got a win from Garik Yedigarian and Matias Di Pasquale who downed Stign Meulemans and Javier Waase 8-2 at No. 2, but Radford sealed the doubles point with a No. 1 victory from Thomas Dehaen and Nicholas Sayer over Yusuke Kusuda and Ted Nilsson.

As the match moved to singles play the Highlanders extended their lead to 2-0 after Dehaen bested Ted Nilsson 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2.

The Chants then came roaring back, getting tough singles win from Leo Christofides (6-3, 6-4), Matias Di Pasquale (7-5, 7-5) and Hunter Whalen (3-6, 6-4, 6-4) to take a 3-2 lead.

Radford’s Nicholas Sayer then evened the match at 3-3 after grinding out a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 win at No. 1 over Yusuke Kusuda.

With the balance of the match hanging on the result of the fourth singles position, Garik Yedigarian pulled through for the Chants, winning a nail biter in the third set to seal the match for Coastal.

“This is a great moment for the Coastal Carolina tennis program,” said head coach Chris Powers. “We had one of the best weeks of practice that I can remember and I think we really carried that over to singles play today. We fought extremely hard on every court and scraped out a fantastic win.”

The Chants will return to the court Wednesday when they travel to UNC Wilmington for a 1 p.m. match.