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Sept. 23, 2007
ATHENS, Ga. - The USC Upstate men's tennis team put up a valiant effort at the team's first trip to the Southern Intercollegiates at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, but none advanced past the round of 32, playing against some of the nation's best competition on Saturday afternoon.
In doubles play in the Division I bracket late Friday night, the team of sophomore Renzo Airaldi (Lima, Peru/Domingo Faustino Sarmiento) and junior Sandy Franz (Duesseldorf, Germany/Berufskolleg Hilden) downed South Florida's pairing of Mahmoud Hamed and Michael Nusslein, 8-6, but fell on Saturday to Florida State's Jean-Yves Aubone and Clint Bowles, 8-4. Both Seminoles are ranked in the ITA's top 125 in the nation.
In the Division II bracket, the team of sophomore Jack Roux (Santiago, Chile/Subercaseaux) and sophomore Javier Tori (Lima, Peru/Markham College) beat Mercer's Jaron Bergeron and Ryan Ingram, 8-4, on Friday night. They fell in the round of 32 to Vanderbilt's Scott Liberman and Alex Zotov, 9-7.
The Spartans, who had three players reach the round of 32 in singles' play on Friday, dropped out of the singles' championship brackets on Saturday afternoon. Franz, who reached the round of 32 in the Division I bracket with a thrilling three-set win against Florida's Nestor Briceno on Friday evening, fell 7-5, 6-2, to Wake Forest's Steve Forman, who went 20-8 for the Demon Deacons last season. Tori, who also reached the round of 32 in the Division I bracket with a three-set win, fell to Duke's Kiril Dimitrov, 6-1, 6-0. Dimitrov was the tournament's eight-seed and is ranked 57th in the ITA Preseason Rankings. Airaldi, playing in the Division II bracket, dropped a 6-3, 6-2 decision to Middle Tennessee State's John Peers.
The Southern Intercollegiates continue play on Sunday and wrap up Monday at the Magill Tennis Complex. The Spartans get back in action at the Wofford Tournament on Friday, Oct. 5.