Mobile, AL – The Emmanuel Men's Tennis team made history today by not only upsetting a third higher seed school, but also by making to a NCCAA Championship!
With another brilliant start of doubles play, Emmanuel was solid on the top courts to start the event with a 2-1 lead. The first point was on court #2 with Sasaki / Jarry abusing of quick approaches at the net and a very offensive style of play that forced the opponents to be on defense the whole time. Without any major issues, the Lions raced for a solid 8-2 win. On court #1, Romero / Alcacer proved to be on point and much more intelligent on key points, with a more efficient style of play and a mixture of different plays, the Lions were always surprising the Rams and with a break at 3-3, Emmanuel took the match by 8-6.
At the start of singles, Emmanuel was looking for an extra 3 wins to qualify for the last round of the tournament. Once again, the Junior Enrique Alcacer put the dream for EC a little closer to become true with another excellent performance on court from the Lion. After opening a quick 5-2, Alcacer saw his opponent raise his level to tie the first set 5-5. Enrique kept his head in the game and with a combination of fast forehands and angles, he grabbed not only first set, but the match by 7-5 6-2. A fourth point was possible because of incredible level of play from the Freshman, Tom Jarry on court #1 who stood steady on the defense, patiently waiting for a chance to attack. With a great strategy from start to finish, the Lion gave Emmanuel a fourth point with a 7-5 6-4 victory. Bluefield did not give up and pushed EC to the limit with three wins on the third set to tie the overall event 4-4. Everything came down to the last match, but the Sophomore Jorge Canadas did not let the Lions down and fought for almost 3 hours, running and always making an extra effort to make his opponent hit an extra ball. After winning the first set, Jorge was not able to keep the momentum for the second and in poor service game, the Ram took the match to a decider. Eager to help the team for a spot in the final round, Canadas found a second wind and in flash, he opened 5-0. The lion achieved the match point, but Bluefield kept fighting and grabbed the next two games with some incredible shots. Jorge served once more and got to another match point and finally clinched the event for a tight 6-2 4-6 6-2.
This match marked the third upset for the EC Men's Tennis Team in the tournament.
Emmanuel will have the tough mission tomorrow to face the #1 Campbellsville University for the National Title! First serve is scheduled for 10AM!
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