The South Carolina State men's and women's tennis teams swept both titles at the 2013 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championships Sunday at Millbrook Tennis Center in Raleigh, NC. The men defeated Florida A&M, 4-2, for their sixth consective championship and 11th overall. The women's team defeated Morgan State, 4-3, for their ninth consecutive and 10th overall title.
In the men's competition, Florida A&M took an early 1-0 lead over South Carolina State with wins at the number one and three doubles positions. FAMU’s Salif Kante and Takura Happy defeated Anto Protsenko and Artemiy Nikitin, 8-5 to win one of the two doubles matches.
In singles play, Kante, the 2013 Player of the Year, put the Rattlers up 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Tomas Bizon at the one position.
The Bulldogs’ Anton Protsenko defeated FAMU’s Chidi Gabril to earn their first point of the day, while Peteris Vinogradovs and Artemiy Nikitin followed with wins at the third and fourth spots to put South Carolina State ahead 3-2.
SCSU’s Marius Dragoi battled back to defeat Temuera Asafu-Adjaye to win the team’s fourth point and secure the title. Dragoi fought back from being down a set, and one game from losing the match, to win 4-6, 7-5, 6-0.
Artemiy Nikitin, who tallied a 3-0 mark in singles play, was named Outstanding Performer while head coach Hardeep Judge was named Men's Outstanding Coach for the ninth time in his career.
In women's doubles action, the Lady Bulldogs captured wins at the number one and three positions. SCSU’s Laura Brosneag and Victoriia Khatcei topped Morgan State’s Arina Alilueva and Jasmine Edwards, 8-3, to earn the Lady Bulldogs the doubles victory and first point of the day.
South Carolina State went up 3-0 with two quick wins at the number three and five positions in singles play. Morgan State battled back earning victories at the two and four spots. Morgan State’s number one, Ekaterina Iakovleva, tied the match (3-3) with a 6-4, 6-4 win over SCSU’s Maria Craciun.
Lady Bulldog’s Laura Brosneag won the winning point with a thrilling three-set win over MSU’s Jasmine Edwards. Brosneag lost the first set, 7-6, but took the next two sets 6-0, 6-0 to help the Lady Bulldogs secure the title.
SCSU’s Victoriia Khatcei was named Outstanding Performer while head coach Hardeep Judge was named Outstanding Coach.
Khatcei recorded a 3-0 record in singles play and a 3-0 mark in doubles action to win the honor. Judge was named the Outstanding Coach for the ninth time in his career on the women's side.
With the wins, South Carolina State receives the conference's automatic qualification to the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Championship. The Division I Men's Tennis Selection Show will air Tuesday, April 30 at 5:00 p.m. on NCAA.com. The Division I Women's Tennis Selection Show will air a half-hour later at 5:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.