Tennis duo impressive in first tourney

The men?s doubles tennis team of Martin Wetzel and Paco Antelo finished second at the Southern Collegiate Championships in Athens, Ga. this weekend. Wetzel and Antelo lost 8-5 in the finals to Angelo Nichelescu and Marcus Westman of South Carolina.

Wetzel and Antelo were ahead 4-3 against the Gamecocks duo, but the match was forced to move indoors where the Bulls tandem were at a disadvantage. Both Antelo and Wetzel are outdoor players who use lobs as a important part of their game.

The South Florida pair had a good showing in the tournament defeating the No. 21 doubles team in the nation of Chris McDonald and Hamid Mirzadeh from Florida 9-8 in the semifinals.

“All in all we did a pretty good job in doubles,” Antelo said. “It?s early in the season so we can get stronger and stronger.”

They also defeated a team from Kentucky by default in the quarterfinals and Michael Chamberlain and Joe Schmuliain of Memphis 8-3 in the round of 16.

The first match of the tournament set the tone for the team by coming from behind to defeat Mike Murray and David Bere of Wake Forest 9-8.

“We played an awesome match, we were down 4-0,” Antelo said. “We played with more confidence, we came back and played awesome in the tiebreaker.”

In singles, Antelo lost in the first round and Wetzel made a run to the quarterfinals.

Antelo, who was ranked No. 6 in the tournament, lost to Oliver Foreman of Middle Tennessee 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

Wetzel ended his three-day run by losing to No. 1 Michael Kogan of Tulane 6-4, 6-3 Sunday.

“(Kogan) was a top seeded guy so that doesn?t hurt as bad,” said Wetzel. “I was up in both sets. It was a close match, I just lost the big points”

In one of the highlights of the weekend for the Bulls, Wetzel defeated No. 7 Oliver Levant of Florida in the second round 6-2, 7-6.

“It was a good win for him,” Barr said.

Wetzel won three matches in the tournament including victories against James Cameron of Furman 6-1, 7-5 in the first round and Paul Ciorascu of Ole Miss 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the round of 16.

“They played well. It?s a very tough tournament,” Barr said. “It was the first time out so we know what we need to work on.”

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