No. 3 Bucs to Play for SSC Men's Tennis Championship

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Fists were pumping and smiles were aglow.

Barry men's tennis team avenged a regular season loss to Rollins in a big way Friday when the No. 3 nationally-ranked Buccaneers beat the No. 6 Tars, 5-1, at Beerman Tennis Center in the Florida Blue Sunshine State Conference Championships semifinals.

It sent the Bucs onto the conference title match for the fifth straight year. Barry will play No. 4 Lynn for the title at 9 a.m. Saturday. Barry fell to Lynn in last year's league championship.

The Buccaneers (20-5) got off to a huge start by sweeping the doubles points, including key wins at the top two spots in wire-to-wire finishes. After Romain Costamagna and Ollie Lemaitre beat Jeff Morris and Ari Davis, 8-6, at the No. 3 flight, the plot thickened.

Barry's No. 13-ranked team of Marco Mokrzycki and Leo Vivas pulled off a big win over No. 10 Lucas Jovita and Jason Alabaster, 9-7, at No. 1 doubles. Then Fabian Groetsch and Daniel Schmidt polished off the pairs sweep with a 9-8 (7-2) victory over Malte Christesen and Constantin Sturdza.

It marked the second straight day the Bucs claimed all three doubles points in consecutive matches since Feb. 17 when they won two matches on the same day.

Jovita, ranked No. 2 in the country, beat Mokrzycki, ranked 11th, at the top singles flight, 6-2, 6-2, to notch the Tars' first team point. But the outspokenly-charged Vivas beat Sturdza, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 5 to give the Bucs a 4-1 lead in the match.

Costamagna sent the Bucs onto the finals when he upset 43rd-ranked Christesen, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 3.

Three singles matches were left unfinished.

Possible weather delays could alter the times of Saturday's title match.


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