Railsplitter Men's Tennis Gets a Taste of Some of the Best NCAA Division II Has to Offer
September 15, 2008
HARROGATE, TN – Over the weekend, first year Railsplitter Head Tennis Coach Benny Collins and his team traveled to Milledgeville, Georgia for the Georgia College & State University Men’s Tennis Fall Championships.
Among the teams participating in this year’s fall championship were Georgia College & State University, Augusta State University, Florida Tech, Lander University, Lees-McRae College, Emory-Oxford College and Lincoln Memorial University.
Although the entire team participated in the weekend’s action, it was LMU sophomores Bastian Guenther (Erlangen, Germany) and Hannes Ganss (Erlangen, Germany) that represented the Railsplitter blue and gray into the finals of the consolation bracket.
After Guenther lost in the Flight A singles bracket to opponent Nandor Solvmosi of Lees-McRae College 4-6, 0-6, and Hannes Ganss was defeated in his match by GC&SU’s Giovanne Nucci 2-6, 7-6, 2-6, both moved into the consolation bracket for the second round play. Fortunately, both drew a bye for the first round of the consolation bracket, allowing them some valuable rest and recuperation for what was a sweltering hot weekend in Milledgeville, Georgia.
In their first matches of the consolation round, Guenther defeated Florida Tech’s Jonathan Hanna 7-65, 4-6, 10-8 to move out of the consolation semifinals and into the championship match.
Ganss, on the other hand was forced to play two matches to get to the final stanza. In his first match of the consolation bracket, Ganss knocked off Lander University’s Damien Cordesse 7-6, 6-1 before dispensing of Augusta State Igor Vasconcellos in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 to the advance to the championship of the consolation bracket against teammate Bastian Gunether.
While the championship of the consolation bracket was an all-LMU final, the match didn’t lack for excitement. Although Guenther lost the first set 5-7 to teammate Hannes Ganss, Guenther bounced back to even the match with a 7-6 win in the second set, thus sending the match to a super tie-breaker to determine the winner of the consolation bracket.
In the super tie-breaker, Guenther, the loser of the first set of the match, managed to fight the heat and exhaustion of three days on the court to win a stubborn tie-breaker with Ganss 10-8 to take the championship of the consolation bracket.
While the 2009 spring season is still many months away, the experience the young and talented Railsplitters gained from this weekend’s tournament and the level of competition will no doubt benefit them in the spring when they vie for their first South Atlantic Conference title.