Mocs Season Ends With Loss to No. 3 West Florida in NCAA South Regional
PENSACOLA - Florida Southern's 2012-13 men's tennis season came to an end here Saturday afternoon as the No. 7 seeded Moccasins fell 5-0 to No. 3 ranked and No. 2 seeded West Florida in the NCAA Division II South Regional held at the Ralph "Skeeter" Carson Tennis Complex on the UWF campus.
The Mocs, who were making its 18th consecutive NCAA D-II Tournament appearance, finished the season with a 14-10 overall record, while UWF improved to 24-1 and advanced to Sunday's final against either No. 3 seed Lynn or No. 6 seed West Alabama.
In Saturday's match, the Argonauts claimed all three doubles matches, but the Mocs made the home team work for the wins as at the No. 1 spot, UWF's fourth-ranked team of Kevin Ducros and Bruno Savi defeated FSC's No. 1 team of junior Benoit Paradis (Quebec City, Quebec) and sophomore Emanuel Lueber (Tiengen, Germany), 8-4, while UWF's No. 3 team of Elio Latela and Felipe Frattini defeated FSC's team of sophomore Charles Garneau (L'ancienne-Lorette, Quebec) and junior Jorge Gutierrez (Madrid, Spain), 8-4.
The closest doubles match came at the No. 2 spot as sophomore Carl Lundberg (Stocksund, Sweden) and junior Vladimir Barabash (Puhovka, Ukraine) battled point-for-point with UWF's team of Tony Rajaobelina and Domenico Sano, but the UWF tandem would eventually prevail 8-5 to help give the Argos a 3-0 lead in the match. It was just the third match and first loss at the No. 2 spot of the season for Lundberg and Barabash as Barabash played the majority of the season at the No. 2 spot with junior Nathan Leavitt (Bradenton, Fla.). Leavitt suffered a season-ending injury in the Mocs regular season finale match against Webber International.
Meanwhile, in the singles action, UWF clinched the match with straight-set win at No. 2 and the No. 3 spots. The other four matches were left unfinshed as the Argos had won the first set in three of those four matches, while Gutierrez had won the first set over Frattini at the No. 5 spot.
At the No. 2 spot, Savi, who is ranked third in Division II, defeated Paradis, 6-1, 6-1, while 43rd-ranked Rajaobelina defeated Lundberg at the No. 3 spot, 6-3, 6-3.
On the season, Paradis, who earned First-Team All-SSC honors in singles on Friday, finished with a team-best 16-8 record in singles, while Barabash went 13-8 on the season. In doubles action, the Mocs No. 1 team of Paradis and Lueber posted a 14-11 record.
The Mocs are expected to return five of its top six singles players from this year's team and all three of its doubles teams next season as Trey Heath's 2012-13 squad featured only two seniors, Tejas Krishnan (Chennai, India) and Robbie Palmiotto (Boca Raton, Fla.).