NEW ORLEANS, La. – Just call the Alabama State University men’s tennis team Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Champions. Adam Coyne’s 6-4, 6-3 win at six singles was the final point needed as the Hornets defeated Jackson State 4-2 in today’s championship handing them their first SWAC Title in the history of the program and the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
“I am so happy for these players and Alabama State,” Head Coach Anuk Christiansz said. “When Coach Seman’ and I got here there was not a lot of history or tradition with the program and these players have worked so hard and they are the ones that won this championship. They are a close knit team and to see them cheering for each other in today’s match just showed how close they are.”
It was a battle between two teams that really came down to the final few matches. The Hornets started off the championship winning the all-important doubles point. Takura Mlambo and Karlo Skvorc won a quick 6-2 game at two doubles and Patrik Cvik and Jarred Thompson pulled out a 7-6 win at one doubles to finalize the point.
Singles play went back and forth. Mataba got the singles started with an exciting 7-5, 6-2 win at two singles. Mataba actually trailed 3-0 in the first set but came back to win the set and then won the second set going away.
JSU picked up a win a four singles to cut the lead to 2-1, before the SWAC Tournament MVP Takura Mlambo put the Hornets up 3-1 with a three-set (6-7, 6-1, 6-3) victory at one singles. Mlambo lost the first set in a tie-break before coming back to win the second and third sets.
JSU again cut the lead to 3-2 with a win at three singles, before Coyne’s heroics at six singles. Coyne trailed early in both sets before settling down to win them in come back fashion.
Joining Mlambo on the All-Tournament Team were Patrik Cvik, Karlo Skvorc and Jarred Thompson. Christiansz was named the SWAC Coach of the Year.
“Being part of a team that is bringing ASU their first conference title means a lot and will mean even more in the future as we continue to build the foundation for this program,” Christiansz said. “We want this to be the first of many championships and will continue to work hard to do that. Now we can’t forget, the season is not over and we now will continue to practice and look forward to where we may wind up in the NCAA Regionals.”
Alabama State University 4, Jackson State 2
Apr 12, 2015 at New Orleans, La. (Hilton)
1. Takura Mlambo (ALST) def. Federico Buscerino (JSU) 6-7, 6-1, 6-3
2. Ronald Mataba (ALST) def. Carlos Martinez (JSU) 7-5, 6-2
3. Styllanon Gkontsaris (JSU) def. Patrik Cvik (ALST) 4-6, 6-2, 7-6
4. Camelo Patino (JSU) def. Karlo Skvorc (ALST) 6-0, 6-4
5. Jarred Thompson (ALST) vs. Federico Mendletta (JSU) 6-4, 2-6, 2-1, unfinished
6. Adam Coyne (ALST) def. Vishu Prasad (JSU) 6-4, 6-3
1. Patrik Cvik/Jarred Thompson (ALST) def. Carlos Martinez/Federico Buscerino (JSU) 7-6
2. Takura Mlambo/Karlo Skvorc (ALST) def. Richie Agarwal/Styllanon Gkontsaris (JSU) 6-2
3. Adam Coyne/Ronald Mataba (ALST) vs. Hernan Gerla/Camelo Patino (JSU) 6-6, unfinished
Jackson State 5-20
Alabama State University 12-15
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,4,1,3,6)