By Joshua J. Darling, Sports Information Director
BEREA, Ky. – Facing winds up to 55 MPH, LaGrange (5-5, 1-3 CCS) men's tennis pulled out a 6-3 victory over Berea (0-9, 0-3 CCS) on the road in an NCAA Division III men's tennis match on Saturday, April 1.
Two matches were slated to be played as a result of an earlier postponement, however, the results of the second are currently in question and will be reported on when irregularities are resolved.
Freshmen Michael Strydom (Brits, South Africa) and Nic Bodin (Atlanta, Ga.) got things rolling with a convincing 8-1 victory over Bogdan Petric and Jordan Peterson at No. 2 doubles before Mike Mecham and Nathan Jiang evened it with a narrow 8-6 win over freshmen Kyle Moore (Sharpsburg, Ga.) and junior Zach Neighbors (LaGrange, Ga.) at the three spot. Seniors Al Robertson (Moreland, Ga.) and Luke Griffin (Atlanta, Ga.) then gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead with a marathon 9-7 victory over Lavar Pharris and John Whitaker.
Bodin and Robertson would then put the match within reach in the first two singles decisions with 6-2, 6-0 (No. 4) and 6-2, 6-1 (No. 1) victories, respectively. The Mountaineers Lavar Pharris earned a 6-3, 6-0 win at No. 2 to keep hope alive – only to see it dashed at the hands of Griffin, who notched a 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 3 to put the match away.
From there it would be academic as Nathan Jiang would claim the sixth position and Moore wrapped things up for the Panthers 6-2, 6-1 decision over Bek Rakhimov at No. 5.
The Panthers are back in action on Friday, April 7 when they host Piedmont in CCS action. First serve is set for 1 p.m. at the Greer Tennis Courts.
LAGRANGE 6, BEREA 3
1. Al Robertson/Luke Griffin (LC) def. Lavar Pharris/John Whitaker (BC) 9-7
2. Nic Bodin/Michael Strydom (LC) def. Bogdan Petric/Jordan Peterson (BC) 8-1
3. Mike Mecham/Nathan Jiang (BC) def. Kyle Moore/Zach Neighbors (LC) 8-6
Order of Finish: 2,3,1
1. Al Robertson (LC) def. Bogdan Petric (BC) 6-2, 6-1
2. Lavar Pharris (BC) def. Michael Strydom (LC) 6-3, 6-0
3. Luke Griffin (LC) def. John Whitaker (BC) 6-3, 6-2
4. Nic Bodin (LC) def. Mike Mecham (BC) 6-2, 6-0
5. Kyle Moore (LC) def. Bek Rakhimov (BC) 6-2, 6-1
6. Nathan Jiang (BC) def. Zach Neighbors (LC) 6-1, 6-1
Order of Finish: 4,1,2,3,6,5