NORFOLK, Va.,—South Carolina State defeated Morgan State 4-2 in a battle of top seeds to claim the 2018 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) men’s tennis championship on Saturday at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center.
The Bulldogs won their 15th overall title and their ninth in the last 11 years.
South Carolina State wasted little time in taking the doubles point, as MEAC Rookie of the Year Aleksa Daskolovic and Marcelo Rodriguez won their doubles match 6-1 – and Jakub Vitek and Juan Ramirez won theirs 7-5.
Vitek then dispatched of Lucas Krusinski in No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-1, before Ramirez won the No. 4 singles match over Sebastian Lopez 6-4, 6-2 – giving the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead in the match.
But the Bears, the Northern Division regular-season champions, picked up singles wins at the No. 6 and No.3 positions, thanks to Nihit Rawal and Shrey Gupta, respectively. When Gupta defeated Daskalovic 6-3, 6-4, it cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 3-2.
Vladyslav Yanchenko clinched the match with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Arjun Ramakrishnan at No. 1 singles.
Vitek was named the tournament’s Outstanding Performer.
Hardeep Judge of South Carolina State was named Outstanding Coach.
The Bulldogs claimed the MEAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships; the field will be announced on Tuesday, May 1 at 5:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
2018 All-Tournament Team
#1 singles: Vlasyslav Yanchenko, South Carolina State
#2 singles: Jakub Vitek, South Carolina State
#3 singles: Shrey Gupta, Morgan State
#4 singles: Juan Ramirez, South Carolina State
#5 singles: Ogukhan Ceylan, Morgan State
#6 singles: Nihit Rawal, Morgan State
#1 doubles: Jakub Vitek/Juan Ramirez, South Carolina State
#2 doubles: Aleksa Daskalovic/Marcelo Rodriguez, South Carolina State
#3 doubles: Flavian Fernandez/Agustin Carrizo, Norfolk State
Outstanding Performer: Jakub Vitek, South Carolina State
Outstanding Coach: Hardeep Judge, South Carolina State