Bobcats Slash Way Through Chick-Fil-A Collegiate Championships

by Chandler Lee, sports information student assistant   

AUGUSTA, Ga. - The first weekend in October proved successful for the Georgia College & State University men's and women's tennis teams at the Chick-Fil-A Collegiate Championships in Augusta.

The Bobcats took home six titles throughout the weekend, coming from both doubles and singles matches.

In the Men's Flight-1 Doubles the second seeded seniors Justin Pickham(Armidale, Australia) and Erick Siqueria (Sao Paulo, Brazil) advanced after defeating Adam Clifton and Marcelo Lebrao from Berry College winning the match 8-3. Pickham and Siqueria then faced Henrique Boturao and Lipe Ramos of Augusta State University (ASU), dominating the match in the final round and taking home the doubles title 8-2.

In the Men's Flight-2 Doubles, the Bobcats saw competition while facing South Carolina-Lancaster in the first round, winning 8-2. In the quarterfinal round and semifinals, juniors Max Beliankou (Minsk, Belarus) and Joao Casagrande (Sao Paulo, Brazil) of GCSU advanced with wins of 8-2 and 8-5 to advance to the championship round. Beliankou and Casagrande then faced Jenner Stevenson and Igor Vasconcellos of ASU. The dynamic duo of the Bobcats was too much however, and GCSU claimed their second title of the tournament.

In the Men's Flight-1 Singles, Siqueria left his teammate and went on to capture the third title of the tournament for the Bobcats. Siqueria advanced to round three and defeated Lebrao of Berry, winning 6-2 and 6-1.

Pickham also found good fortune for the Bobcats. The senior moved quickly through the Men's Flight-2 Singles and advanced to the championship round defeating Vasconcellos 3-0. Vasconcellos was forced to leave the match due to injury, giving the Bobcats their fourth title of the weekend.

Beliankou worked his way through all three rounds of the Men's Flight-3 Singles, taking home first over Stan Atema of Berry. Beliankou won two of the three sets played in the championship round, giving him the title in third set by winning 6-2.

The Bobcats depth also payed off as junior Giovane Nucci (Santa Catarina, Brazil) garnered a first-place finish in the Men's Flight-4 Singles. Nucci, ironically enough, defeated his own teammate Casagrande 6-4, 6-4 in a close match. The win gave the Bobcats their sixth and final first-place finish of the tournament.

During the Men's Flight-5 Singles, the Bobcats saw sophomore Kyle Uhles(Cumming, Ga.) make it to the semifinal round before being defeated by ASU. Also, in the Men's Flight-5 Singles Consolation, freshman Robert Angelucci (Acworth, Ga.) made it to the finals before being brought down by Jonathan Surls of Berry.

On the women's side of the court, Lady Bobcat senior Gabby Acuna(Peachtree City, Ga.) advanced to the championship round in the Women's Flig ht-4 Singles. Acuna then lost to Shkurte Ejupi of ASU, 6-2 and 6-0.

This tournament marks the end of the regular season for the men's team. Pickham and Siqueria will play in the National Championship Tournament on Oct. 17 at the Super Bowl of Small College Tennis.

The women have one tournament left on the schedule, which will take place Oct. 10-12 at the Centennial Center Tennis Facility.

Visit www2.GCSU.edu/Bobcats to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement.