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Sept. 14, 2007
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The rain was the only thing that slowed down the USC Upstate tennis teams on Friday during the USC Upstate Fall Tennis Tournament at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex, with seven Spartans (four women, three men) reaching the semifinals of the their draws and two more still awaiting their semifinal match.
Rain pushed back the start time of many of the matches and the weather forced USC Aiken to scratch from the tournament, leaving it a five-team affair on the men's side and a four-team tournament on the women's side. Rain also ended the day early, with seven men's and three women's semifinal matches left to be completed and a full slate of doubles matches left for Saturday. Action on Saturday will begin at 8 a.m. with the first round of doubles' action.
Of the six Spartan women that entered the tournament, five are still alive in the champions bracket and four of the six Spartan men are also alive in the champions bracket as well.
In the men's `A' draw, both sophomore Javier Tori (Lima, Peru/Markham College) and junior Sandy Franz (Duesseldorf, Germany/Berufsholleg Hilden) reached the semifinals. Tori downed Wofford's Christopher Williams, 6-0, 7-5, in the first round before beating Gardner-Webb's Evgeny Slesarev, 6-3, 7-5 (5), avenging a loss from last year, to reach the semifinals. He awaits the winner of George Kernodle (Wofford) and Rafeal Altmeyer (Gardner-Webb).
On the other side of the bracket, Franz breezed into the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Presbyterian's Matt Martin and a 6-1, 6-4 win over Wofford's Scott Collins.
In the men's `B' draw, sophomore Renzo Airaldi (Lima, Peru/Domingo Faustino Sarmiento) posted a 6-2, 6-3 win over Presbyterian's Pat Fediuk to reach the quarterfinals where he will face Presbyterian's Ruan Olivier.
In the `C' draw, sophomore Heinz Gildemeister (Myrtle Beach, S.C./Myrtle Beach) reached the semifinals with two super-tie break wins, posting a 4-6, 6-4 (12-10) decision against Wofford's Hunter Maltsberger and then beating Campbell's Ian Kahler, 6-2, 3-6 (10-7).
The women's `A' draw semifinals will feature three Spartans as senior Susana Hernandez (Cali, Columbia/Colegio Americano), senior Diana Martinez (Medellin, Colombia/Nuestra Senora del Rosario) and junior Anna Novo (Caracas, Venezula/El Angel) each won two matches Friday.
Hernandez posted a win over Wofford's Adriane Hodges in the first round before posting a double-bagel against Wofford's Mckenzie Carson, 6-0, 6-0, in the quarterfinals. The second win was the 40th of her career. She will face Campbell's Bianca Saenz in the semifinals.
Martinez posted a 6-0, 6-2 win against Cayley Wetzig of Wofford in the first round and followed with a 6-4, 6-1 win against Campbell's Scarlet Alfonzo in the quarterfinals. Novo cruised with a 6-0, 6-1 win against Presbyterian's Kari Fuller in the first round and a 6-0, 6-0 win against Campbell's Nina Surviladze to make it to the semifinals, where she will face Martinez.
The lone semifinalist already decided in the women's `B' draw is Spartan junior Vivian Neuenschwander (Arequipa, Peru/Mah-Uhle), who posted a 7-6, 6-2 win over Campbell's Cristina Garcia in the first round an a 7-6 (3), 4-6 (10-5) win against Wofford's Lauren Prickett in the second round. She awaits the winner of a match between Wofford's Sonia Anand and Campbell's Tanya Ahuja. Junior Maria Herrera (Buenos Aires, Argentina) is in the midst of her quarterfinal match with Campbell's Anna Surviladze.