The Eastern Kentucky University’s men’s tennis team advance to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament finals after battling late into the night to secure a 4-3 win over Jacksonville State University at the Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville.
The Colonels will face Tennessee Tech (12-6) in the championship match on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. The Golden Eagles went 6-0 in the league during the regular season.
Saturday’s semifinal match didn’t end until 2:50 a.m. ET Sunday morning.
Parth Aggarwal won an epic three-set match at No. 4 singles to secure the victory for the Colonels. He won the first set 6-4. He had two match points, serving with a 5-4 lead, before dropping the second to Paolo Cucalon 7-6 (7-5). Down 6-5 in the third set, Aggarwal fought off three match points by Cucalon to force a tie-break set. Despite suffering muscle cramps, he won the tiebreaker set 7-2 to send EKU to the finals.
“It was unbelievably epic,” Eastern Kentucky Head Coach Rob Oertel said. “This team just never gives up and Parth displayed that in the clinching set. Can’t wait to play the finals.”
EKU (16-9), the No. 2 seed, lost the doubles point to the third seeded Gamecocks (12-9) to begin the match.
The Colonels tied the match at 1-1 with Ramon van Flymen’s straight set victory at No. 1 singles, and tied it again, 2-2, when Sebastian Mueller picked up a 7-6 and 6-2 win at No. 2 singles. Eastern tied it for a third time, 3-3, with a 6-3 and 6-3 victory by Diego Asis at No. 6 singles.
Eastern Kentucky University 4, Jacksonville State 3
1. Ramon van Flymen (EKU) def. REESE, Jaryd (JSU) 6-1, 6-1
2. Sebastian Mueller (EKU) def. CAFFARENA, Pablo (JSU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
3. CHAIM, Mathias (JSU) def. Jan Kuehling (EKU) 6-4, 6-2
4. Parth Aggarwal (EKU) def. CUCALON, Paolo (JSU) 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-2)
5. MORCK, Felix (JSU) def. Guillem Sanchis (EKU) 7-6 (7-1), 6-3
6. Diego Asis (EKU) def. AGOST, Guillermo (JSU) 6-3, 6-3
1. REESE, Jaryd/McCORMICK, Austin (JSU) def. Ramon van Flymen/Sebastian Mueller (EKU) 6-2
2. CHAIM, Mathias/MORCK, Felix (JSU) def. Jan Kuehling/Parth Aggarwal (EKU) 6-1
3. Guillem Sanchis/Diego Asis (EKU) vs. CAFFARENA, Pablo/GOMEZ, Andres (JSU) 4-4, unfinished
Jacksonville State 12-9
Eastern Kentucky University 16-9
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (1,3,2,5,6,4*)
2017 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament – Semifinals
No. 2 seed EKU vs. No. 3 seed Jacksonville State
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