COLUMBUS, Ga. – The No. 12 Georgia College & State University men's tennis team (16-6) beat No. 14 Lander University (16-7) 5-1 Friday, advancing to play in the Columbus Southeast Regional final Saturday. Georgia College will take on host No. 10 Columbus State University (17-4) May 8 at 1 p.m.
The Bobcats got started with a 2-1 advantage in doubles, getting wins in the top two spots. The two teams are very familiar with each other, playing for the third time in the past month. The regular season ended with a 5-3 Bobcat win April 14, and Georgia College added a PBC Tournament opening-round win over the Bearcats two days later 5-1.
The No. 27 duo of Jerome Leborgne (Coordimanche, France) and Joao Casagrande (Sao Paulo, Brazil) edged Christopher Mattsson and Pierre Frances 8-6 in first doubles. Seniors Max Beliankou (Minsk, Belarus) and Giovane Nucci (Santa Catarina, Brazil) toppled LU's second doubles duo of Paul-Henri Arrigoni and Juan Manrique 8-5. The Bobcat pair improved to 10-6 on the season.
Needing just three more wins, the Bobcats got them at the third, fourth and sixth spots. Bernardes got the first singles victory, making quick work of Frances in the fourth slot 6-0, 6-2, moving to 15-4 on the year.
Beliankou increased his team lead in victories to a 17-3 record with his 6-4, 6-1 win over Mattsson in the third spot, setting up Casagrande for the clincher. Beating John Cappabianca 6-4, 6-3 for the team win, Casagrande improved to a perfect 6-0 on the year.
The Bobcats take on CSU after the Cougars' shutout of No. 18 Augusta State University today. The two teams have met twice this year, a 5-4 regular-season Cougar win, and a 5-0 CSU shutout win in the PBC Tournament.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Georgia College prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.