by Tyler Peck, sports information graduate
JONESBORO, Ga. - The Bobcats' hopes for playing in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament Championship game came to an end when the regular season champs and national No. 6 Georgia College & State University (15-3) was beaten by national No. 9 USC Aiken (18-3), the No. 5 seed, 5-3 earlier today (April 18).
Georgia College fell behind losing all three double matches but was able to make a comeback in singles competition.
The No. 22 twosome of Bruno Seves and Filipe Garcia from USC Aiken defeated Joao Casagrande (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Francis Yoshimoto (Sao Paulo, Brazil) 8-5 at second doubles. At third doubles, Giovane Nucci (Santa Catarina, Brazil) and Max Beliankou (Minsk, Belarus) lost 8-4 to Gregory Andrade and Christopher Kaetz.
The Bobcats bounced back taking matches at second, third and fourth singles.
No. 15 Pickham defeated No. 21 Darezzo 6-2, 6-0 at second singles. No. 24 Yoshimoto took down Horne 7-5, 6-2. With the score 6-1, 6-3 Beliankou beat Kaetz at third singles. Yoshimoto improves to a team-best 14-3 on the year, while Pickham stands at 12-3, Beliankou at 13-4.
At first singles, No. 8 Siqueira fell to No. 6 Seves 6-4, 7-5. At fifth singles, Nucci retired in his match against Garcia to clinch the victory for the Pacers.
The Bobcats were ranked first in the latest NCAA regional rankings. The rankings are used to choose the teams that make the NCAA Tournament in May. The Southeast Region-where the Bobcats lead-will send 12 teams to the tourney. The three conference championship tournament winners receive bids, leaving nine at-large selections chosen from this poll.
Georgia College awaits the selection for the NCAA Regional Tournaments, which will begin play May 7.
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