SAVANNAH, GA – Seventeenth-ranked and fourth-seeded Georgia College garnered a come-from-behind win at No.2 singles to clinch a narrow 5-2 win over 27th-ranked and fifth-seeded Francis Marion University, Sunday afternoon (April 28) in the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Men's Tennis Tournament.
The Bobcats (19-6) advance to face top-ranked and host Armstrong Atlantic State University in Monday's regional final.
Francis Marion ends its season with a 15-9 record, with eight of the losses coming at the hands Top-20 ranked opponents. FMU head coach Garth Thomson will also have to wait for career win No.300 until the start of the 2014 campaign. He concludes his 21st season in Florence with a 299-150 record.
In doubles play, Georgia College earned a quick 8-0 win at the No.2 position and then a hard-fought 8-6 victory at No.1. FMU junior Tim Ruepke and sophomore Marius Wahlier trimmed the margin to 2-1 with a 9-7 win in the final (No.3) doubles match.
The two teams traded points in singles play – Luke Bateup losing in straight sets at No.6 and Wahlier winning in straight sets at No.5 – to leave the Bobcats with a 4-2 advantage.
At the No.2 spot, FMU sophomore Gavin Davison lost the opening set 6-2, won the second set 7-5, and led 4-2 in the deciding third set before GC's Andreas Ainalides won four straight games to capture the deciding point.
FMU's Ruepke was leading at No.4 singles when the match was stopped, while Francis Marion senior Alex Caspari was down 7-5, 4-3 at the No.1 position. Caspari, the team's lone senior, ends his illustrious career with a 52-18 singles mark and a 51-27 doubles record. He is one of only five Patriots to reach 50 career singles victories.
The Patriots have advanced to the NCAA Tournament each of the past six seasons and 17 of the last 19.
NCAA II Southeast Regional Men's Tennis Match Results Apr 28, 2013 at Savannah, Ga. #17 Georgia College 5, #27 Francis Marion University 2 Singles competition 1. #48 Johan Wadstein (GC-M) vs. #16 Alex Caspari (FMU) 7-5, 4-3, unfinished 2. Andreas Ainalides (GC-M) def. Gavin Davison (FMU) 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 3. Yannick Hass (GC-M) def. Eimon Heywood (FMU) 6-3, 6-2 4. Alex Schubert (GC-M) vs. Tim Ruepke (FMU) 6-7 (5-7), 5-6, unfinished 5. Marius Wahlier (FMU) def. Mattia Campus (GC-M) 7-5, 6-3 6. Wictor Andersson (GC-M) def. Luke Bateup (FMU) 6-2, 6-3 Doubles competition 1. Andreas Ainalides/Johan Wadstein (GC-M) def. #16 Alex Caspari/Gavin Davison (FMU) 8-6 2. Wictor Andersson/Yannick Hass (GC-M) def. Eimon Heywood/Arnaud Holl (FMU) 8-0 3. Tim Ruepke/Marius Wahlier (FMU) def. Mattia Campus/Alex Schubert (GC-M) 9-7 Match Notes: Francis Marion University 15-9; National ranking #27; Regional ranking #5 Georgia College 19-6; National ranking #17; Regional ranking #4 Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,5,3,2) T-3:58 A-50