Cougars Beat No. 5 Lander, Capture PBC Title

COLUMBUS – With a share of the Peach Belt Conference regular season championship on the line, the ninth-ranked Columbus State University men’s tennis team walked away with a decisive 6-3 win over fifth-ranked Lander Saturday afternoon. The match took place at the John W. Walden Tennis Complex.

CSU captured the program’s second PBC regular season title finishing the regular season with an 18-3 overall record and a 9-1 PBC record. The Cougars share the conference title with Armstrong State, but will be the number one seed in the upcoming tournament thanks to their victory over the Pirates earlier in the year.

“This is what we have been playing for the whole year and the guys could not have performed any better,” said head coach Evan Isaacs. “I’m so proud of what they achieved so far this year, but we have plenty left to accomplish.”

Columbus State set the tone in doubles play taking two of the three doubles matches. The Cougars took the top spot as KP Pannu and Maciej Kierkus posted an 8-5 victory. Matei Avram and Zach Whaanga were 8-4 winners at the third position. Lander did take third doubles as Paul Sprengelmeijer and Jorge Vargas fell 8-5.

The Cougars carried their momentum into singles action as CSU registered four more wins. In a ranked showdown, 43rd-ranked Pannu took down the 35th-ranked player in the nation 6-0, 6-4. Second doubles was the tightest match of the day as Whaanga battled into a third set tiebreaker. The sophomore rebounded after losing the first set 7-6 by taking the second 6-3 before winning the tiebreak 13-11 to win the match.

At the fourth spot, Avram cruised in the first set before having to outlast his opponent in the second to take the match 6-3, 7-5. Vargas had no problem at fifth singles walking away with a 6-1, 6-1 victory.

Lander did take third and sixth singles. Sprengelmeijer fell 6-1, 6-0 at the third position while Kierkus fell 6-1, 6-1 playing as the sixth player.

The Cougars will now prepare for the PBC Tournament that will begin on April 21 in Florence, S.C. CSU will take on Young Harris in the opening round.

Singles competition
1. #43 KP Pannu (CSU) def. #35 David Korsten (LU) 6-0, 6-4
2. Zach Whaanga (CSU) def. Jules Vauthier (LU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 13-11
3. Elrik Groner (LU) def. Paul Sprengelmeijer (CSU) 6-1, 6-0
4. Matei Avram (CSU) def. Alexandre Springer (LU) 6-3, 7-5
5. Jorge Vargas (CSU) def. Marc Hofer (LU) 6-1, 6-1
6. Ozan Cildir (LU) def. Maciej Kierkus (CSU) 6-1, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. KP Pannu/Maciej Kierkus (CSU) def. Marc Hofer/Omar El-Moslemany (LU) 8-5
2. Matei Avram/Zach Whaanga (CSU-M) def. Jules Vauthier/Ozan Cildir (LU) 8-4
3. David Korsten/Elrik Groner (LU) def. Paul Sprengelmeijer/Jorge Vargas (CSU) 8-5
No. 7 Lady Cougars Take PBC Regular Season Crown

COLUMBUS – For the first time in program history, the seventh-ranked Columbus State University women’s tennis team is alone atop the Peach Belt Conference as the Lady Cougars defeated Lander 9-0 to win the PBC title outright Saturday. The match took place at the John W. Walden Tennis Complex.


CSU captures just its second PBC regular season title and the first since 2006. It is also the first year that Armstrong State didn’t at least share the regular season title since 2003. The Lady Cougars finished the regular season with a 19-2 mark and a perfect 12-0 record inside the PBC.


“I’m so proud of the ladies and their hard work this season,” said head coach Evan Isaacs. “We accomplished something that no other Columbus State women’s tennis team has done, but we have to stay hungry and fight in the postseason.”


The Lady Cougars got off to a good start sweeping doubles play. Camila Tobar and Beatriz Lopez breezed through their match at second doubles posting an 8-1 victory. Rachael Williams and Giorgia Vitale recorded CSU’s second victory of the day taking down their opponents 8-5. First singles went back-and-forth before Saravinder Pannu and Kirsa Utech took the match 9-7.


Columbus State didn’t have any problem in singles play dominating all six matches. CSU didn’t drop a game in three matches taking second, third and sixth by the score 6-0, 6-0. At second doubles, 43rd-ranked Lopez ran by her opponent while 21st-ranked Vitale took care of business at the third spot. Pannu shined on Senior Day sweeping her opponent at sixth singles.


In the other matches, 29th-ranked Utech registered a 6-2, 6-1 victory at first singles with Tobar winning fourth 6-1, 6-0. Olivera Tadijin was also a winner on Saturday taking fifth singles 6-4, 6-0.


The Lady Cougars will now prepare for the PBC Tournament that will begin on April 21 in Florence, S.C.


Singles competition

  1. #29 Kirsa Utech (CSU) def. Yuriko Ono (LU) 6-2, 6-1
  2. #43 Beatriz Lopez (CSU) def. Ivanka Mocic (LU) 6-0, 6-0
  3. #21 Giorgia Vitale (CSU) def. Caroline Yodice (LU) 6-0, 6-0
  4. Camila Tobar (CSU) def. Nelli Lius (LU) 6-1, 6-0
  5. Olivera Tadijin (CSU) def. Julia Suzuki (LU) 6-4, 6-0
  6. Saravinder Pannu (CSU) def. Lucia Ric (LU) 6-0, 6-0


Doubles competition

  1. Saravinder Pannu/Kirsa Utech (CSU) def. Nelli Lius/Ivanka Mocic (LU) 9-7
  2. Camila Tobar/Beatriz Lopez (CSU) def. Lucia Ric/Caroline Yodice (LU) 8-1
  3. Rachael Williams/Giorgia Vitale (CSU) def. Julia Suzuki/Yuriko Ono (LU) 8-5

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