by Katie Parker, sports information graduate assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - The No. 11 Georgia College & State University men's tennis team (5-3, 2-2 PBC) got upset by No. 15 Francis Marion University (5-4, 2-1 PBC) Friday, losing 5-4 at the Centennial Center Tennis Facility.
In doubles action, No. 2-ranked Dilshod Sharifi and Oshada Wijemanne of FMU overpowered the No. 16 pair of Joao Casagrande (Sao Pauo, Brazil) and Jerome Leborgne (Coordimanche, France) 8-3. Slotted second, Dirk Bair and Karl Rogers defeated Georgia College's Giovane Nucci (Santa Catarina, Brazil) and Max Beliankou (Minsk, Belarus) 8-5, while Leo Bernardes (Sao Paulao, Brazil) teamed with Johan Wadstein (Helsingborg, Sweden) to beat the Patriots' Alex Caspari and Jack Bishop 8-7. The Bobcat duo improved to 2-0 on the season. Francis Marion held a 2-1 advantage going into singles play.
Despite taking the first set 6-4 at first singles, Leborgne lost the second the third set to No. 17 Sharifi, 6-1 and 6-2. Slotted second, No. 9 Oshada swept Wadstein in two 6-3 sets, while Beliankou kept the Bobcats alive, beating Bair with a pair of 6-1 sets. The Georgia College senior improved to a 6-2 record for the 2010 campaign.
At the No. 4 singles spot, Nucci lost to Caspari 6-3 and 6-3, while Bernardes mimicked Beliankou's score with 6-1 sets. Bernardes is 5-2 in singles action this season. In sixth singles, Casagrande downed Bishop, blanking the Patriot in the first set and then taking the second 6-4. The senior is undefeated in singles play, going 3-0.
The ‘Cats are back in action this weekend, traveling to Savannah, Ga. Saturday, March 6 to take on No. 4 Lynn University and then on to No. 16 Flagler College Sunday, March 7.
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, GCSU 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.