NORFOLK, Va. – Every time you reach a championship it's a good thing.
For the Virginia Commonwealth University men's tennis team, Saturday's 4-1 win over UNC Wilmington was much more than just a win in the Colonial Athletic Association Semi-Finals. It was payback.
The Seahawks upset the Rams last year in the CAA Finals, 4-3, after Thibaut Charron (Sens, France) suffered a devastating knee injury prior to the match.
This year was a different story as the Black & Gold swept through the singles matches en route to the victory. It marks the 14th time in the past 15 seasons that VCU has appeared in the CAA Championship on the men's side.
After dropping the doubles points to UNC Wilmington, freshman Krisztian Kroscko (Budapest, Hungary) changed momentum with a quick 6-1, 6-1 win over the Seahawks' Ryan Ybarra at #3 singles.
Then it was Charron's turn as he put the Rams up 2-1 with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Michael Pereira at #1 singles.
Sophomore Filip Svensson (Angelholm, Sweden) put VCU within one win of the CAA Championship with a 6-2, 6-1 win at #6 singles. Freshman Max Wennakoski (Helsinki, Finland) secured the victory for the Black & Gold with a 6-2, 7-5 win at #4.
The Rams will face top-seeded William & Mary for the title on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. It will be the seventh time that these two schools have met in the CAA Finals.
#2 VCU 4, #3 UNC Wilmington 1
#1 Thibaut Charron (VCU) d. Michael Pereira (UNCW), 6-2, 6-1
#2 Tim Johannsen (VCU) vs. Kinshuk Sharma (UNCW), 1-6, 6-4, 2-0 - DNF
#3 Krisztian Krocsko (VCU) d. Ryan Ybarra (UNCW), 6-1, 6-1
#4 Max Wennakoski (VCU) d. Kosta Blank (UNCW), 6-2, 7-5
#5 Camill Salomon (VCU) vs. Illia Ziamtsou (UNCW), 6-7 (3), 0-3 - DNF
#6 Filip Svensson (VCU) d. Chris Cooprider (UNCW), 6-2, 6-1
Singles Order of Finish: 3, 1, 6, 4
#1 Sharma/Cooprider (UNCW) d. Charron/Krocsko (VCU), 8-4
#2 Johannsen/Salomon (VCU) vs. Pereira/Ybarra (UNCW), 4-4 - DNF
#3 Ziamtsou/Blank (UNCW) d. Wennakoski/Svensson (VCU), 8-2
Doubles Order of Finish: 1, 3