NCAA Men's Tennis: Cougars Roll in Round of 16

Columbus State's KP Pannu
Columbus State's KP Pannu

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - The third-ranked Columbus State University men's tennis team cruised to a 5-1 victory over 21st-ranked Cameron Tuesday afternoon in the NCAA Round of 16. The match was played at Sanlando Park.

The victory sends the Cougars to the national quarterfinals for just the third time in program history. CSU also made the quarterfinals in 2010 and 2011.

Columbus State will take on 14th-ranked Azusa Pacific on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

"The guys continue to play great tennis," head coach Evan Isaacs said. "This group believes that they can go all the way and they are now one step closer.

"We have a very good Azusa Pacific team in front of us tomorrow, so it's important that we get off to a strong start and stay focused throughout."

CSU (24-3) got rolling Tuesday with a pair of doubles victories.

Matei Avram and Zach Whaanga finished off their opponents 8-5 at second doubles to put the Cougars on the board, and Jorge Vargas and Shao-Yu Yu followed with a win at third doubles by an identical score.

In a battle of ranked doubles teams, KP Pannu and Maciej Kierkus fell 8-5 at the top spot for Cameron's lone point of the day.

Vargas grabbed the first singles win of the day to extend the CSU lead with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph in the fifth spot. Pannu then bounced back and brought the Cougars within one point of victory with an easy 6-2, 6-1 ranked victory at the top.

Paul Sprengelmeijer clinched the match for Columbus State, winning 6-4, 7-5 at third singles to send the Cougars into the quarterfinals.

Whaanga was up a set when play was stopped, while Avram and Yu were on the verge of victories in the third set.

Singles Competition
1. 32 KP Pannu (CSU-M) def. 29 Vinicius Santos (CU) 6-2, 6-1
2. Zach Whaanga (CSU-M) vs. Bruno Babic (CU); match was unfinished: 7-5, 1-4
3. Paul Sprengelmeijer (CSU-M) def. Felipe Oyarzun (CU) 6-4, 7-5
4. Matei Avram (CSU-M) vs. Mateo Velasco (CU); match was unfinished: 1-6, 6-4, 5-4
5. Jorge Vargas (CSU-M) def. Julen Gutierrez (CU) 6-3, 6-1
6. Shao-Yu Yu (CSU-M) vs. Keiran President (CU); match was unfinished: 4-6, 6-1, 5-2

Doubles Competition
1. 11 Felipe Oyarzun and Mateo Velasco (CU) def. 22 KP Pannu and Maciej Kierkus (CSU-M) 8-5
2. Matei Avram and Zach Whaanga (CSU-M) def. Bruno Babic and Keiran President (CU) 8-5
3. Jorge Vargas and Shao-Yu Yu (CSU-M) def. Vinicius Santos and Julen Gutierrez (CU) 8-5