SAVANNAH, Ga. - The newly-minted top-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University men's tennis team advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 with a 5-1 win over No. 12-ranked Flagler, closing out the Southeast Regional on Tuesday at Bacon Park in Savannah.
The Pirates (26-0) moved to the top spot of the ITA DII men's tennis rankings, released Tuesday morning, then knocked off fellow Peach Belt foe Flagler to move on to Altamonte Springs, Fla., on May 11-14 for the NCAA Division II Men's Tennis Championships at Sanlando Park. There, Armstrong will face defending DII national champion and No. 5-ranked Barry in a Round of 16 matchup on Wednesday. Flagler ends its season with a 12-8 mark after advancing to its third consecutive NCAA Championships since moving to DII from NAIA.
Armstrong took a 2-1 lead after doubles, including claiming a top-five win at No. 1 doubles as top-ranked Rafael Array and Mikk Irdoja beat fifth-ranked David Cotrone and Gino Ramirez, 8-6. The Pirates also took an 8-3 win at No. 3 doubles as Eudaldo Bonet and Daniel Regan beat Peter Coulis and Adam Hunt. Flagler's lone point came at No. 2 doubles as Uriel Oquendo and Harry Snoxell downed Matus Mydla and Pedro Scocuglia, 8-5.
In singles, top-ranked Bonet earned a quick 6-0, 6-0 win over Coulis at No. 2 singles and No. 23-ranked Mydla downed Ramirez, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 3 singles. Scocuglia clinched the match for Armstrong with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Oquendo at No. 6 singles to send the Pirates to the Round of 16.
Next Wednesday's matchup will feature the winners of the last three NCAA Division II Men's Tennis championships - the Pirates won the title in 2008 and 2009 while Barry knocked off the Pirates in the 2010 quarterfinals en route to the title. The two teams in the regular season on April 8 with the Pirates taking a 6-3 win in Miami Shores, Fla.