Camels tennis outlasted in Big South title match

From Campbell University Athletics
Posted 4/25/22

For the second time this season in a men’s tennis match between Campbell and Radford University this season, the doubles point proved decisive.

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Camels tennis outlasted in Big South title match

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CHARLOTTE — For the second time this season in a men’s tennis match between Campbell and Radford University, the doubles point proved decisive.

On Sunday in Charlotte, the second-seeded Highlanders (14-7) claimed the doubles and split the singles match to down top-seeded Campbell (16-6) 4-3 in the Big South Championship final.

“We gave ourselves chances and battled hard all day. They were just a little bit better today and more experienced. This was their third straight Big South final, and maybe that paid off,” said Campbell head coach David Johnson.

Earlier this month, Campbell won the doubles point at Radford and claimed a 4-3 victory en route to the Big South regular-season championship.

CU’s Damien Nezar and Leon Petko started things with a 6-3 win at No. 1 doubles. However, Radford won 7-5 at No. 3 before taking a tiebreaker at the second spot to earn the point.

In singles play, Campbell pulled even with straight-set wins by Noe Macquart, Tomas Balazi and Pol Otin.

At the fourth position, in what was the deciding point, Benjamin Maes battled back from one set down then fended off two match points before eventually falling to Konstantinos Raptis 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.

The Camels, who have reached the Big South title match six times in the last eight seasons, dropped just their second decision in the last 15 matches.

Johnson named COY

David Johnson was named Big South Coach of the Year and regular-season champ Campbell placed six student-athletes on the 2022 all-conference teams chosen by league head coaches.

Now in his 24th season in charge of the Campbell men, Johnson guided his squad to its first unbeaten league regular season since the 1993 team finished 6-0 in Big South play. The Camels won 12 straight matches — their longest win streak since re-joining the Big South in 2012 — a string that was snapped by seventh-ranked Wake Forest in the regular-season finale.

This year’s award marks the fifth time Johnson has been named coach of the year since joining the Campbell staff in 1998. Johnson also served as CU’s head women’s coach from 1999 to 2018.

Nezar and Otin were named first-team all-conference selections in singles, while Nezar and Maes were a first-team doubles pick. Balazi was chosen second team all-conference in singles and joined on the doubles second team with playing partner Petko.

Macquart was named to the Big South all-academic team by conference athletics communications professionals.

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