COLUMBUS, Ga. — Less than 15 hours after recording a dramatic 5-4 victory over Queens University for the program’s first NCAA tournament win since joining the Division II ranks, the Barton College tennis team was back on the court to face a fresh Columbus State University squad ranked No. 3 in the country.
The Bulldogs, tournament champions and automatic qualifiers out of Conference Carolinas, didn’t go quietly as the No. 9 seed. But the Cougars muscled a win in two of the three doubles matches before getting singles wins at Nos. 1, 3 and 5 to end Barton’s groundbreaking year with a 5-1 victory in the second round of the NCAA Southeast I sub-regional.
Barton ended its year at 15-9, while Columbus State, the No. 1 seed in the Southeast Region and champions of the Peach Belt Conference, improved to 22-3. On Sunday, the Cougars reached the 16-team national bracket in Altamonte Springs, Fla. by dispatching No. 15 Flagler 5-4 in the sub-regional final.
Barton’s lone win came in doubles play at No. 1 singles, where freshman Julian Bosch and sophomore Jesus Gil won their fifth straight match by stopping Columbus State’s K.P. Pannu-Maciej Kierkus 8-4. Pannu-Kierkus entered play ranked No. 22 by Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
In the No. 3 slot, Barton conceded the edge after doubles only after Rory Gaydon-Jake McCartney battled the Cougars’ Jorge Vargas Shao-Yu Yu to a 9-7 outcome.
Columbus State quickly moved to clinch the win in singles with brisk straight set wins at Nos. 1, 3 and 5 singles.
Paul Sprengelmeijer’s 6-3, 6-1 win over Yaxi Pintado in the No. 3 position clinched the match. At the time of the stoppage, Gaydon and Gil were embroiled in close matches on the Nos. 4 and 6 courts, respectively.
Barton’s 15 wins were the most for the program since 2006.
NO. 3 COLUMBUS STATE 5, BARTON 1
KP Pannu (CSU) def. Julian Bosch 6-1, 6-0; Zach Whaanga (CSU) vs. Jake McCartney (BC) 7-6 (7-5), 4-1, unfinished; Paul Sprengelmeijer (CSU) def. Yaxi Pintado 6-2, 6-1; Matei Avram (CSU) vs. Rory Gaydon (BC) 6-4, 5-5, unfinished; Jorge Vargas (CSU) def. Ermanno Galimberti 6-0, 6-3; Shao-Yu Yu (CSU) vs. Jesus Gil (BC) 5-7, 6-1, 2-1, unfinished