Men's tennis beats CSU, advances to NCAA's Round of 16

The Lander men's tennis team celebrates after defeating Columbus State in the NCAA Southeast Region on Sunday. Pictured front row (L-R) are: Diego Zegarra and Graeme Simpson. Back row (L-R) are: Paulo Fernandes, Ross Armstrong, Samuel Poutignat, Oscar Axelsson, Paul-Henri Arrigoni, Adam Jonsson, Vincent Verpeaux, August Iwdal and head coach Brett Simpson. (Photo by Joe Cabri)

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The No. 7-ranked Lander men's tennis team will be making its first trip to the NCAA Tournament's Round of 16 since 2003 after defeating No. 8 Columbus State, 5-4, Sunday afternoon in the third round of the tournament at the Mary V. Blackmon Tennis Center. (NCAA Round of 16 Bracket)

The Round of 16 will be played May 8-11 in Surprise, Ariz. The Bearcats improve to 16-3 overall, while Columbus State ends the season at 18-3.

Lander will open the Round of 16 at 9 a.m., Wednesday, May 8 against No. 19 Cameron University. A Lone Star Conference school in the Central Region, Cameron is located in Lawton, Okla.

The Lander/Cameron winner will go against the winner of No. 10 Concordia (NY)/No. 22 Northwest Missouri State at 10 a.m. Thursday.

After trailing Columbus, 2-1, following the doubles matches, Lander battled back to claim four of six singles to clinch the win. Tied at 4-4, senior All-American Paul-Henri Arrigoni won the deciding match at No. 1 singles over Olivier Simonet, 7-5, 5-7, 6-1.

In other singles matches, No. 2 Vincent Verpeaux (LU) def. Gordan Divljak (CSU) 6-3, 6-2; No. 3 Quentin Rayniere (CSU) def. Samuel Poutignat (LU) 6-3, 6-4; No. 4 Oscar Axelsson (LU) def. Marco Almorin (CSU) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3; No. 5 Adam Jonsson (LU) def. Danilo Sardelli (CSU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3; and No. 6 Adi Malicbegovic (CSU) def. August Iwdal (LU) 6-1, 6-2.

In doubles, No. 1 Adam Jonsson/August Iwdal (LU) def. Marco Almorin/Olivier Simonet (CSU) 8-6; No. 2 Gordan Divljak/Quentin Rayniere (CSU) def. Vincent Verpeaux/Paul-Henri Arrigoni (LU) 8-5; and No. 3 Adi Malicbegovic/Danilo Sardelli (CSU) def. Samuel Poutignat/Oscar Axelsson (LU) 8-3.