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.
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.
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.
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.