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S.C. State men, Norfolk State in match for tennis crown
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S.C. State men, Norfolk State in match for tennis crown

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NORFOLK, Va. -- Norfolk State and South Carolina State will compete for the 2021 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men’s tennis championship after they won their respective semifinal matches Saturday afternoon at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center.

The Bulldogs dispatched Howard 4-0 and the Spartans outlasted North Carolina A&T State 4-3 to set up a match-up of top seeds.

Sunday’s championship will begin at noon.

South Carolina State is seeking its first title since 2018 and its 16th overall; the Bulldogs have won 12 of the last 15 championships dating back to 2004. Norfolk State will be looking for its first title.

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South Carolina State vs. Howard

The Bulldogs (6-2) only lost one point in clinching the doubles portion of the match.

Once singles play got going, S.C. State picked up wins at the No. 3 spot, where First Team All-MEAC honoree Elyes Marouani defeated Romani Mayers 6-0, 6-2, and at No. 5, where Diego Arzaluz won his match 6-0, 6-0 over Phoenix Williams.

Luka Stevanovic, at No. 6, won 6-0, 6-0 over the Bison’s Pierce Westbrook.

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Between singles and doubles play, Arzaluz did lose a single game on Saturday.

Norfolk State vs. North Carolina A&T State

The Spartans took the doubles point by clinching the No. 1 and No. 3 matches, but the Aggies made their mark in singles play, pushing the match to the decisive singles match at the No. 5 position.

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There, Ignacio Guevel had his hands full with Nolan Martino, taking the first set 7-5 before finding himself trailing in the second set. But Guevel made the comeback, taking the next three games to win the set 7-5 and push the Spartans to the title match.

Vasil Ivanov gave the Aggies a win at the No. 2 slot, defeating MEAC Player of the Year Andres Alcaraz 6-3, 6-0, while Esteban Lopez won at No. 3, 6-3, 6-0 over Santiago Rendon.

Michael Ogundele defeated Ibrahim Abbas 6-1, 6-2 at No. 6 singles.

For the Spartans, First Team All-MEAC selection Federico Rebecchini won his singles match at the No. 1 slot, defeating Nicholas Arduh 6-3, 6-1, and Ivan Ivars won the No. 4 singles match, 6-4, 6-3 over Eadwyn Bacar.

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