BLUEFIELD, W. Va. – The No. 1 seed Bluefield State men's tennis team earned a come-from-behind 5-3 victory over the No. 4 seed West Va. Wesleyan Monday afternoon to secure their first ever NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Championship and a berth to the final Round of 16, the first time in program history. The Big Blues (20-4) will move on to the Division II Championships Festival in Louisville, Ky., where they will face the winner of the South Central #2 Regional Final, made up of Ouachita Baptist University (Ark.) and St. Edward University (Texas). The match did not start out as well as BSC would have liked as they found themselves in a 2-1 hole after doubles play. The Big Blues were first in the scorebook as their No. 2 doubles team made up of WVIAC Player of the Year Shikar Kapur and Pitor Kruk cruised to an 8-1 win over West Va. Wesleyan's All-WVIAC duo Javier Yim Kim and Eduard Gusevs. However the Bobcats (12-6) took the remaining doubles points to claim the 2-1 lead. They tied the match with a win at No. 3 doubles as Douglas Oliveira and Nathan Savill defeated Guatam Sreeram and Conner Pickering 8-5. With the match knotted at one all eyes were on the No. 1 doubles match with the two teams engaging in a back-and-forth battle. WVWC's Aitor Resperaz and Joel Izqueirdo were eventually able pull away and defeat Vlad Catlan and Niklass Sparr 9-8 (7-4). The Big Blues quickly tied the match again as Sreeram avenged his doubles loss with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Savill in the No. 6 singles flight. The Bobcats reclaimed the lead with a win at the no. 4 singles match. Oliveira continued his strong play against Pickering, taking the match 6-2, 6-1. BSC tied the match yet again as Catlan bounced back from his doubles loss and defeated Gusevs 6-4, 6-1 in the No. 2 singles match. Needing two more points to secure the win, Kapur took the No. 1 singles match 6-2, 7-5 over Yim Kim and Sparr was not too far behind coming from behind to win the No. 5 match 3-6, 6-1, 6-0. The Big Blues now have improved their overall NCAA Tournament record to 2-3 with the finals win.
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