Sailfish Bullied by #5 Armstrong Atlantic in Men's Tennis

Written By: Ron Kotouch, PBA Sports Information Graduate Assistant

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- Two NCAA South Region heavyweights squared off at Gaines Park on Saturday morning.  Coming into the match, Chi Ly’s men’s tennis squad had won eight of their last ten matches, and the Sailfish were more than ready to step up their game against the Pirates of Armstrong Atlantic University.  The Pirates, on the other hand, came into the match with the pedigree of the nation’s #5 ranked team, and they were not about to relinquish that title with a loss to the Sailfish.  The Pirates withstood a big blow early, but were able to leave West Palm Beach with a dominating 8-1 victory over the Sailfish. 

To start off the match, the Sailfish landed a big punch in the #1 doubles match, as the dynamic duo of Krasimir Atanasov and James Buerkle defeated Paul Bishop and Mikk Irdoja of Armstrong Atlantic in nail-biting fashion 9-8.  However, the momentum of this match was soon killed, as the Sailfish dropped the next two doubles matches against Pirates opponents. 

Staring down the barrel of a 2-1 deficit to the Pirates, the Sailfish looked to their #1 singles star, Atanasov, to even the match up and gain back the momentum.  Taking on a monumental task against the nations #1 player, Atanasov took Armstrong Atlantic’s Edualdo Bonet down to the wire in the #1 singles match.  Riding a fourteen match winning streak, Atanasov easily took the first set 6-2, but Bonet showed the resolve of the nation’s #1 player and took the next two sets 7-5, 10-2 to win the match.

The #5 ranked Pirates never looked back after winning the #1 singles match and took the next five matches en route to an 8-1 victory over the Sailfish.  Armstrong Atlantic leaves West Palm Beach with a 14-1 record and no doubts about their national ranking. 

The Sailfish drop to 13-6 on the season with the loss and will be back in action on Saturday, April 4 on the road against St. Leo University.  The action will start at noon and be sure to check www.PbaSailfish.com for all the match details and highlights.

Armstrong Atlantic State University 8, Palm Beach Atlantic 1

Doubles


#1- Atanasov/Buerkle (PBA) defeated Bishop/Irdoja (AA)   9-8
#2- Fitzgerald/Array (AA) defeated Dealy/Bolanos (PBA)  8-1
#3- Torok/Bonet (AA) defeated Tilton/Hines (PBA) 8-1

Singles

#1- Bonet (AA) defeated Atanasov (PBA)  2-6, 7-5, 10-2
#2- Bishop (AA) defeated Bolanos (PBA)  6-3, 6-2
#3- Irdoja (AA) defeated Dealy (PBA) 6-0, 6-1
#4- Fitzgerald (AA) defeated Tilton (PBA) 6-0, 6-2
#5- Johannsen (AA) defeated Buerkle (PBA)  6-0, 6-2
#6- Torok (AA) defeated Hines (PBA) 6-0, 6-0

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