SAVANNAH, Ga. - The No. 4-ranked Armstrong State University men's tennis team used a pair of key third-set singles wins to pick up a key 5-4 Peach Belt Conference victory over No. 5 Lander University on Sunday at the Armstrong Tennis Complex.
With the win, the Pirates (15-5, 8-1 PBC) moved into a three-way tie for first place in the Peach Belt Conference standings, with Lander (14-3, 8-1 PBC) as well as Columbus State. Armstrong State can clinch a share of the PBC regular season title on Saturday, when the Pirates host No. 13 North Georgia at 2:00 p.m.
The Pirates took an all-important 2-1 edge after doubles play. The No. 6-ranked doubles duo of Alberto Caceres Casas and Jan Porteset defeated Marc Hofer and Omar El-Moslemany, 8-1, at No. 1 doubles, while No. 19-ranked Luca Cerin and Ignacio Hernandez downed David Korsten and Eirik Groner, 8-4, at No. 3 doubles. Lander notched a win at No. 2 doubles as Jules Vauthier and Ozan Cildir defeated Bjorn Kurtze and Lorenzo Camilli, 8-3.
In singles play, the Pirates took four of the first six first sets. Armstrong got a quick 6-2, 6-4 win from Alvaro Cruz Chomorro at No. 6 singles, over El-Moselmany, but Lander picked up a 7-5, 6-4 win at No. 5 singles from Cildir over Kurtze to make the team score 3-2.
Every other singles match went to a third set. No. 13-ranked Caceres Casas picked up a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 win over No. 35-ranked Korsten at No. 2 singles, then Porteset - who clinched last year's 5-4 regular season win over the Bearcats - did the same this year, surviving a 13-11 tiebreak loss in the first set to win 6-7 (11), 6-2, 6-0 over Alex Springer at No. 4 singles.
Lander won the other two singles matches in third-set tiebreakers. Vauthier notched a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) win over Cerin at No. 1 singles, while Groner defeated No. 48 Hernandez, 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (9) at No. 3 singles.
The Pirates return to action on Friday, hosting Auburn-Montgomery in a 1:00 p.m. non-conference contest at the Armstrong Tennis Complex.