by Kevin Buczek
WILSON, N.C.-Sophomore Jorge Pradilla picked up singles and doubles wins for host Barton College in a slim 5-4 Conference Carolinas men's tennis loss to visiting Pfeiffer University on Saturday afternoon at the Barton Tennis Complex.
The Falcons bounced back from its first league loss to Coker last week to move to 8-3 overall and 3-1 in the conference. The Bulldogs were unable to move over .500 on the season to fall to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in league skirmishes.
Pradilla paired up with freshman Nick Genest for Barton's lone doubles victory. Pradilla-Genest (6-3) squeaked out the second flight match 9-7.
The Falcons top tandem of Ben Hunter and Loic Minery helped Pfeiffer take a 2-1 lead into singles competition with a 8-6 triumph. Hunter-Minery (8-1) have won five straight doubles matches. Ethan Lyon and Sebastian Wernecke provided the guests with an initial 8-2 win at No. 3.
Pradilla and freshman Daniel Radu kept the Bulldogs hopes alive with singles wins. Pradilla (6-3) lost his first set 7-6 (1) but was leading the next set 4-3 when Hunter was forced to retire. Radu (5-2) won his fifth-seeded match in straight sets (6-1, 6-3).
Singles wins by Minery and Stephen Miller at top and bottom of the Falcons lineup, respectively, pulled Pfeiffer to within one point of victory. Minery (9-0) remained undefeated in his sophomore season with a pair of 6-3 wins. Miller (5-2) had the Falcons easiest singles match winning 6-1, 6-1.
Luis Villalta lifted Pfeiffer to the team win at No. 4 singles by clinching the fifth team point with a 6-3, 6-2 success. Villalta (9-2) has won eight straight singles matches.
Sophomore Max Leppert prevailed 6-3, 7-5 at No. 2 to trim the Bulldogs final margin of defeat to the slimmest possible. Leppert moved over .500 at 5-4 in dual matches.
Barton next visits local league rival and defending Conference Carolinas Tournament champions Mount Olive College on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.