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April 3, 2010
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - For the first time since the Atlantic Sun Conference started regular-season play in 2007, someone other than ETSU will have its name engraved on the champions trophy, as the No. 52 USC Upstate men's tennis team clinched a piece of the regular-season title with a 7-0 win over FGCU on Saturday afternoon at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex. Upstate (17-5 overall, 9-0 A-Sun) can clinch a piece of its first outright A-Sun title on Tuesday afternoon when it faces Campbell (14-6 overall, 6-3 A-Sun) at the Upstate Tennis Complex at 2 p.m.
The Spartans are now the third team in school history to claim at least a piece of a conference crown, along with both the 2003 and 2005 Co-Regular Season Peach Belt Conference champions when Upstate was a member of Division II.
Upstate won all nine matches for the first time this season against the Eagles (4-14 overall, 3-7 A-Sun), as the team swept all three doubles matches and six singles matches in the win.
In doubles, the No. 1 pair of seniors Renzo Airaldi and Javier Tori posted an 8-3 win over Thibaud Aime and Matthew Rock, the No. 2 pair of senior Jack Roux and junior Marco Linconir added an 8-4 win over Carlo Checchia and Sebastian Leitz and the No. 3 pair of sophomores Edgar Rodriguez and Ramiro Blanco added an 8-4 win over Sergio Rebolledo and Gabrial Echeverry.
In singles play, Upstate continued to play well, taking four two-set wins, a superset tiebreaker win and one three-set win. At No. 3, Tori won his school-record 80th career match, as Tori posted a 6-0, 6-0 win over Leitz. Blanco added a 6-2, 6-1 win over Rebolledo at No. 5, Rodriguez posted a 6-3, 6-3 win over Aime at No. 1 and Linconir posted the win at No. 6 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Mitchell Lvovsky.
The Spartans wrapped up the match with two more points, as Airaldi beat Checchia in a superset tiebreaker, 6-2, 4-6, 10-6 and Roux posted a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over Rock at No. 4.