Tennis 'Cats Record Huge Win Over West Liberty, 5-4

Tennis 'Cats Record Huge Win Over West Liberty, 5-4

BUCKHANNON - Ferran Berga's 6-4 5-7 6-3 win capped a a furious Bobcat rally and clinched a pivotal 5-4 victory for West Virginia Wesleyan over Mountain East Conference leader West Liberty in MEC play here Thursday.

Berga rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the decisive set, taking six of the final seven games to complete the comeback that saw the 'Cats fall behind 2-1 after doubles, and again 4-2 in the first hour of singles.

The win gave Wesleyan (10-6, 3-1) new life in the conference regular season race, and handed the Hilltoppers their first MEC loss on the season.

"That was a team effort for sure, and it was the second time we've gotten great crowd support here in a big win," said coach Marc Walters, whose squad is currently ranked fourth in the NCAA regional ratings.

"Being at home is turning out to be the bonus that I hoped it would be, and the support from our other athletes and teams has helped us find that extra gear when we needed it," said Walters.

Ramon Rodriguez led the Bobcats with two more wins, teaming with Lukas Laipold for a 8-3 point at No 2 doubles, and then turning back Matt Tully at No. 3 singles 6-2 6-2 in a battle that was much closer than the score indicates.

The Hilltoppers All-MEC duo of Baptiste Perrin and Santiago Guitierrez powered past the Bobcats to provide quick wins at No. 1 doubles and the top two singles, pushing the 'Cats to the brink before the rally.

Jacobo Rendon rolled to a 6-0 6-0 win at No. 5, and Rodriguez's win closed the gap to 4-3 three and a half hours into the match.

In the match of the day, Wesleyan freshman Alexander Lyudinovskiy captured a 7-6 6-4 over Camillo Moncayo after fighting off two set points in the tiebreaker. His win set the stage for Berga's heroics.

Walters was pleased for his team but still subdued about the result.

"We had a good day and get to feel better about ourselves for a few hours, but we have a lot of work ahead of us with a dangerous Charleston team coming here Saturday," said Walters.

A win Saturday against UC will give the Bobcats a share of the MEC regular season title for the second straight year, and a top two seed at the conference tournament.

The match is set for 11 a.m. at the tennis complex, and is followed by a league match with UVa.-Wise at 3 p.m.