The No. 3 seeded Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Tennis Team outlasted an upset bid from No. 6 Coker on Monday afternoon as freshman Rhodri Atkinson clinched the win at number three singles to send LR on to the semifinals on Thursday. Lenoir-Rhyne, who lost to Coker earlier in the season, came away with the 4-3 win.
"Credit to Coker on a strong season, they are much improved and we had to dig deep to beat them today," said Head Coach Tom Rees. "Our guys hung tough and had a never say die attitude. They were determined to get the win today and I'm so proud of them for doing so."
LR dug themselves an early hole by dropping the doubles point for one of the few times this season. Shane O'Dea and Mauricio Hernandez suffered a tough 7-6 loss in first doubles and Coker clinched the doubles point with another 7-6 win in the second spot. In third doubles, LR's duo of Hamed Gandouz and Tales Miranda won 6-3 but it proved to be too little, too late.
Down early, Josh Lazenby drew the Bears even with a 6-1, 6-0 win in fifth singles. Coker earned a win in the second spot to reclaim the lead but O'Dea had the answer in the fourth spot, winning 6-3 and 6-1. After Coker's win in first singles put them on the brink of an upset, the Bears wouldn't give in. Lewis Scott won in sixth singles 7-5, 6-2 and it came down to the third line. Reigning SAC Player of the Week Atkinson earned a 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 win to send the Bears on to the next round.
The Bears will advance to the SAC Semifinals and meet up with a Queens team that defeated LR 6-1 on March 13.