Marathon match ends with 5-4 CU loss

Staff Reports • May 18, 2018 at 9:41 PM

MOBILE, Ala. — Fourteenth-ranked Reinhardt University won a pair of doubles outings and held off No. 6 Cumberland in singles in a match that was delayed by rain and took nearly eight hours to complete, with the Eagles taking a 5-4 victory over the Phoenix in the quarterfinals of the 67th annual NAIA Men’s Tennis Championships on Friday.

The match featured four singles matches that went three sets as well as five tiebreaks in the singles outings.

Reinhardt’s Myroh Miranda and Bruno Juarez defeated Thiago Lopes and Axel Lucich, 8-5, at No. 2 doubles, but Cumberland’s Ramon Puertolas and Riccardo Ferraris won by the same score at No. 3 against Sam Alexander and Brandon Lane.

That left Reinhardt’s 15th-ranked Fabio Pereira and Mario Belloni Tomas against CU’s Pau Grabuleda Cruañas and Francisco Fernandez Meaca, with the Eagles coming out on top, 8-5, to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

Ferraris helped the Phoenix even the match, completing his singles match first, a 6-4, 6-1, triumph over Juarez at No. 3, but Nikita Hrynov posted a 7-6, 6-3, win at No. 4 versus Lopes.

Everytime Cumberland would tie the match, the Eagles would push back ahead.

Fernandez Meaca overcame an early deficit against Belloni Tomas at No. 5, coming back for a 5-7, 7-6, 6-2, victory, but Alexander outlasted Lucich at No. 6, registering a 7-6, 2-6, 6-1 for a 4-3 Eagles advantage.

Pereira, ranked 47th in singles, finished off the win for Reinhardt, taking a 6-1, 6-7, 6-2, win at No. 1 against seventh-ranked Grabuleda Cruañas. Puertolas, ranked 24th, also came back from a set down to defeat Miranda, 6-7, 6-0, 6-2, at No. 2.

It marked the second time in five seasons the Phoenix reached the quarterfinals of the national tournament and the second time in program history.

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