SAINT LEO, Fla. - The eighth-ranked Saint Leo University men's tennis team handed No. 2 Armstrong Atlantic State University its second straight loss, downing the Pirates by a 6-3 decision on Monday morning in Saint Leo, Fla. The upset win marks the biggest national ranking victory in the Lions' history as a program, and advances their record to 4-2 on the season. The Pirates drop to a mark of 2-2, marking the first time Armstrong has dropped two consecutive matches since 2007.
It was an epic battle of endurance as the Lions and Pirates faced adversity and weather delays in a match that began at 10 a.m. and didn't come to a close until 3:15 p.m. with the Lions clinching the key win.
"Today represents the biggest win over a ranked opponent in our tennis program's history," said acting head coach Martin Parkes. "Taking down the former national champions and second-ranked Armstrong Atlantic Pirates would not have been possible if it weren't for a fantastic team performance led by our upper classmen. Our team showed the belief, heart and character which earned us a hard fought victory today, and it's something we can proudly build on for the rest of our season!"
Saint Leo took two of three doubles matches to take a 2-1 lead heading into singles play. The Lions fell at No. 1 doubles as Pablo Gor and Jaan Kononov defeated Aloua Adjenak and Fons Verberne, 8-3, but won at No. 3 doubles as Ismail Lemtouni and Bruno Sisti defeated Ignacio Hernandez and Luca Cerin, 8-1.
Saint Leo then clinched the match by winning four of six singles flights. Saint Leo won at No. 2 singles as Adjenak beat No. 10-ranked Gor, 6-3, 6-2, as well as No. 4 singles as No. 50-ranked Lemtouni defeated No. 20-ranked Herenandez, 6-1, 6-3. The Lions also notched a three-set win at No. 5 singles as Lozier beat Cerin, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, and Jacobo Gonzalez Tarrio closed out the match with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Okrutny at No. 6 singles.
Armstrong's singles points came at No. 1 singles as No. 9-ranked Scocuglia beat Nicholson-Lewis, 7-6 (4), 6-1, as well as No. 3 singles as No. 39-ranked Kononov blanked Oskar Nurmio, 6-0, 6-0.
The Saint Leo men's tennis team returns to action on Sunday, March 2, when they take on Walsh at 1 p.m.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men's tennis team, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.