SUMTER, S.C. – Both the Barton men's and women's tennis teams competed in the Palmetto Tennis Center Invitational over the weekend, combining for four flight titles and three consolation titles as a whole.
The men's team, playing for the first time in 2016, had a host of new faces introduced to collegiate completion, while a few familiar faces fared well in the invitational.
Freshman Ermanno Galimberti teamed with senior McKennon Griffin in the "B" Doubles Flight to get all the way to the championship match before falling 8-4 to a duo from the University of Mount Olive. Two freshman, Hari Clarke and Rory Gaydon, played as a tandem in the "C" Doubles Flight and also made a run to the championship match, losing 8-7 to another Mount Olive team.
In the men's singles competition, senior Jake McCartney had a successful start to his final season in Royal Blue and White, winning the "A" Singles Flight. The Thames, New Zealand native won his first round matchup in come-from-behind fashion with a 2-6, 6-3, 10-5 decision before taking the final three victories in two sets each. McCartney sealed the individual title with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Limestone's Stefano Soares.
Galimberti continued to impress in his collegiate debut, winning the "C" Singles Flight, defeating Limestone's Mark Carnes in the final match. Despite losing his first round contest, Griffin rebounded for a consolation title in the "E" Singles Flight. After advancing with a bye, the upperclassman defeated two opponents from Belmont Abbey, 6-1, 1-6, 10-8 and 6-0, 7-5 to claim the consolation victory.
The Lady Bulldogs, competing in their second tournament in as many weekends, continued to find early success with two flight championships and two consolation titles.
A freshman doubles duo of Shauna Kelly and Marissa Stevenson cruised to the championship match in the "B" Doubles Flight, defeated a team from Erskine College 8-7 (3) in the finale.
Stevenson also won the "B" Singles Flight consolation title after falling in three sets to open bracket play. A resident of Kirk Michael, Isle of Man, she won back-to-back matches by scores of 6-1, 6-1 and 7-5, 5-2 (ret.) in the consolation flight.
The women's "D" Singles Flight saw two seniors go head-to-head in the championship match as Lorraine Cho-Qui and Dana Kelly claimed the top two spots with Chon-Qui being crowned the flight champion. Both players advanced to the title matchup by winning three contests in two sets each, before Chon-Qui sealed the win with a 6-2, 2-6, 10-7 decision over her teammate.
Freshman Elle Vietz was the runner-up in the "E" Singles Flight, falling 6-2, 1-6, 10-4 to Belmont Abbey's Morgan Zahnd, while senior Hannah Teasley earned a consolation title in the "F" Singles Flight. Teasley advanced to the championship round following consecutive byes in the bracket before defeating Pfeiffer's Madison Hatley 6-1, 6-2.
Barton's men's team will be action once again this weekend in the Methodist Tennis Invitational in Fayetteville, before both teams send individual members back to Sumter, S.C. to compete in an ITA competition.