COLUMBUS, Ga. – With a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line, the Georgia College & State University men's tennis team (16-7) saw its season come to a close in a 5-3 defeat in the NCAA Southeast Regional #2 final at No. 10 Columbus State University (18-4) Saturday.
The Bobcats had a 2-1 advantage after doubles action, only dropping the first slot. In second doubles the senior pair of Max Beliankou (Minsk, Belarus) and Giovane Nucci (Santa Catarina, Brazil) took out Olivier Simonet and Nemanja Djuric 8-5, finishing 11-6 on the year.
At third doubles a 9-7 battle was won by freshman Johan Wadstein (Helsingborg, Sweden) and sophomore Leo Bernardes (Sao Paulo, Brazil). The pair finished with an 8-3 season mark after beating Filip Cojbasic and Daniel Stomberg.
In the match's only ranked battle, No. 12 Frank Suarez and Christophe Noblet edged Georgia College's No. 27 sophomore Jerome Leborgne (Coordimanche, France) and senior Joao Casagrande (Sao Paulo, Brazil) 8-4.
CSU took singles action 4-1 to clinch the victory. The lone Bobcat victory came in the third slot as Beliankou closed out his collegiate career on top, a 6-3, 6-4 win over Simonet. Beliankou finished his senior season with a team-best singles mark of 18-3, winning his last eight matches.
Losses came in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth spots, as No. 18 Suarez beat Leborgne 6-1, 7-6 (9-7) in the first slot. Stomberg got revenge on Bernardes in fourth singles action to the tune of 6-4, 6-3.
Noblet took a straight-sets win from Nucci 6-3, 6-2 in the fifth slot, and a three-set battle ended it, as Casagrande fell to Djuric in sixth singles 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.
The loss closes out the season for the 16-7 Bobcats, taking third in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) thanks to a 6-3 league mark. Leborgne earned All-PBC honors in singles, while the Bobcats lose three seniors in Beliankou, Nucci and Casagrande.
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.