SUMTER, S.C. - The Armstrong State University men's tennis team swept the singles and doubles titles at the ITA Southeast Regionals on Monday, sending a pair of players to Arizona for the upcoming ITA Small College National Championships in two weeks.
Unseeded sophomore Alberto Caceres Casas defeated No. 5-8 seed Niklas Zielen of North Georgia to capture his first ITA region singles title. He advanced to the final with a 7-6, 2-6, 6-3 win over North Georgia's Alex Reinauer in the semifinal on Monday morning.
Caceres becomes the ninth Armstrong State men's tennis player in the last 10 seasons to represent the Southeast Region - last year Pablo Gor represented the region as the top seeded player after rains cancelled the event. Prior to that, the Pirates' region champions included Fernando Bogajo (2014), Pedro Scocuglia (2013), Georgi Rumenov (2012), Eudaldo Bonet (2008, 2010), Rafael Array (2009) and Robert Jendelund (2007).
In doubles, the Pirates were guaranteed to notch the crown as top-seeded Caceres and junior Jan Porteset faced seniors Luca Cerin and Ignacio Hernandez in the final. Caceres and Porteset prevailed, 8-6, to earn the berth to Arizona. Armstrong State has now sported the last seven straight ITA Southeast Region doubles champions - Hernandez and Gor represented the region in 2015 while Bogajo and Gor did so in 2014. Previous winners during the streak include Gor and Scocuglia in 2013, Dan Regan and Georgi Rumenov in 2012, Scocuglia and Matus Mydla in 2011 and Rafael Array and Mikk Irdoja in 2010 - that duo won not only the DII title but the "Super Bowl" title that year as well.
The ITA Small College Championships will take place at the Surprise Tennis Complex in Surprise, Ariz., on October 13-16. The venue previously served as the host of the DII National Championships in 2013 and 2015.
The women's tennis team also swept the region titles on Monday, meaning it is the fourth time in the last six seasons that Armstrong State has won all four ITA Southeast Region titles - 2014, 2012 and 2010 are the other years it happened.