The Oglethorpe men's tennis team rounded out their weekend at the ITA Men's South Regional Championships Saturday, with Stormy Petrel players competing in a variety of secondary and consolation draws.
Freshman Elijah Bullock worked his way into the singles silver draw quarterfinals on Friday, and continued his excellent run on Saturday. He defeated Belhaven's Yves Ikuno in the quarterfinal round on Saturday morning, winning 7-6(0), 6-2 to advance to the semifinal round against Birmingham-Southern's Haden Essary. In that matchup, Essary won a hotly contested first set, taking a tiebreaker 7-2. Bullock ran out of gas after that, falling 6-0 in the second set.
In the doubles gold draw, juniors Matt Magee and Michael Santaloci were locked in a quarterfinal matchup with Sewanee's Dane Hawthorne and Mac McCollough on Saturday morning. Hawthorne and McCullough took an exciting match, 8-6, to eliminate the Oglethorpe pairing and advance to the semifinals.
Freshman Walker Benson won the main consolation draw with a couple of victories on the day. He won his quarterfinal matchup with a big tiebreaker win over Griffin Davis, taking the match 6-7(3), 6-4, 1-0(5). He then went onto beat Methodist's Coleman Baker 6-3, 6-3 in the next round to take the consolation championship after a walkover.
Benson and junior Richard Johnson fought hard in a tough quarterfinal matchup in the main doubles consolation draw, falling 9-8(6) in a tight tiebreaker.
"We had several good performances on the weekend," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell, "with Elijah Bullock and the doubles team of Santaloci and Magee advancing to the second day of competition in their draws. We also had Walker Benson win the consolation draw. Overall, this weekend has given us a good idea of what we're going to have to do headed into the spring season to improve."
The Petrels will take on Oxford on Friday at 4 p.m. in Oxford, Georgia, in their final event of the fall season.
Day 1 Recap
The Oglethorpe men's tennis team competed Friday at the ITA Men's South Regional Championships in Rome, taking part in both singles and doubles competition.
In the singles main draw, freshman Walker Benson found himself in against No. 8 seed Ioannis Brokakis of North Carolina Wesleyan and fell in a competitive 6-2, 6-4 match. Junior Richard Johnson fell to Chase Gooding of Berry in a three-set, first-round matchup. He fought valiantly, but fell 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the end. Junior Matt Magee was in tough against the tournament's No. 3 seed, Emory's Adrien Bouchet, and fell 6-2, 6-1. Sophomore Dustin Bowie had a battle with Belmont's Mauricio Gonzalez and fell 7-5, 6-2.
In the main doubles draw, Bowie and junior Jacob Bertram fell to Graham Pearson and Chasen Chacon of Guilford in an 8-3 match. Johnson and Benson had a tough match against the No. 3 seed, Sebastian Sikh and Aditya Iyer from North Carolina Wesleyan, and played very well in the match. They had the match with the seeded pair tied 5-5, but Sikh and Iyer pulled away late for an 8-5 win.
In the singles gold draw, sophomore Zoe Raymond played well in a 6-3, 7-5 opening-round victory over Brandon Beck from Millsaps. He continued his quality play against Methodist's Trent Harner in the second round, but Harner came back from a set down to win 2-6, 6-3, 1-0(7). Junior Michael Santaloci defeated Covenant's Logan Hull 6-4, 6-2 in the first round, but had to retire against Birmingham-Southern's Jamie Bekaert in the second. Meanwhile, freshman Calvin Schneider took his first round match over Piedmont's Andrew Chitty, 7-6(4), 6-4, but then lost a second round barnburner to North Carolina Wesleyan's Henry Lam in the second round, 6-7(6), 6-4, 1-0(7).
Freshman Elijah Bullock had an outstanding day in the silver draw, taking a pair of matches to advance to the quarterfinals. He defeated Covenant's Trey Wefjan in a hotly contested 4-6, 6-2, 1-0(4) match in the first round, then took out Guilford's Kai Glass 6-1, 6-0 in the second. He'll face off against Belhaven's Yves Ikuno in the quarterfinals Saturday morning at 9 a.m.
Magee and Santaloci joined Bullock in the quarterfinals, advancing to Saturday in the gold doubles draw. They got a first-round bye, then took out Jackson Hill and Sam Niebanck of Piedmont in a second-round tiebreaker, 9-8(6). They'll take on Dane Hawthorne and Mac McCullough of Sewanee in the quarterfinals Saturday at 2 p.m.
In the silver doubles draw, Raymond and Schneider won their first round matchup 8-3 over Avery Cornett and Clay Jones of Berry, but fell 8-3 in the quarterfinals to Jakob Jurasek and Henry Lam of North Carolina Wesleyan.
Benson is still alive in the second round of the main singles consolation draw, while he and Johnson are in the quarterfinals of the doubles consolation draw.
The Petrels will be back in action Saturday from the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College.