by Doug Page
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College Bulldogs saw a 2-1 lead following the completion of doubles competition fade away as the Belmont Abbey Crusaders rallied for a 5-4 victory against the Bulldogs on Wednesday at the BC Tennis Complex in Conference Carolinas men's tennis action.
Barton (4-12, 2-6) erased an early 1-0 deficit by rallying for a pair of doubles victories against the Crusaders at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. Belmont Abbey (14-18, 7-2) clinched the match with a win at the No. 4 position of singles play as the Crusaders won each of the first four matches.
Belmont Abbey tallied the opening point of the match as the nationally-ranked No. 31 doubles tandem of George Barfoot and James Delaney defeated freshman Diego Agudelo and freshman Oscar Marmestedt 8-4 at the No. 1 position.
Sophomore Rory Gaydon and junior Jesus Gil knotted the match 1-1 at the No. 2 position with an 8-7 (7-3) winner against Belmont Abbey's Zachary Blythe and Henrique Leal. Freshman Martijn Eleveld and sophomore Ermanno Galimberti outlasted the duo of Tomas Pardo and Michal Rapsik 8-7 (7-5) to give Barton a 2-1 lead heading into singles action.
The Crusaders would take momentum in the match as Blythe defeated Marmestedt 6-2, 7-5 at the No. 2 position to even the match 2-2. Delaney would follow by winning his singles matchup for the Crusaders with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 decision against Gaydon at the No. 1 spot.
With the Crusaders holding a 4-2 lead in the match following a victory at the No. 3 position from Barfoot, BAC would clinch the match as Jose Disotuar bested Gil 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to secure a fifth point for the visitors.
Freshman Alessandro Gerbino snapped the streak for the Crusaders by tallying a win at the No. 5 position with a 6-3, 6-4 victory at the No. 5 position against Carlos Nolasco. Galimberti closed the match by recording a 6-0, 6-3 win at the No. 6 position against Austin Schepel to cut the deficit to 5-4.
Barton will host North Greenville University on April 13 at 2 p.m. and finish regular season play at home on April 14 against Southern Wesleyan.