Cougars Three-Peat After 4-0 Sweep Of Pacers
By CSU Sports Information
FLORENCE, S.C. - In a match that featured two of the highest ranked teams in the nation, the top-ranked Columbus State University Cougars swept their way to a Peach Belt Conference championship defeating sixth-ranked USC Aiken 4-0 on Sunday. The tournament was hosted by Francis Marion.
Columbus State (22-3) captured its third consecutive PBC Tournament title and fourth overall. The Cougars improved to 18-1 against ranked opponents this season.
CSU raced out to the early lead thanks to strong play from their doubles at the top two spots. Top-ranked Zach Whaanga and Alvaro Regalado cruised to a 6-1 win at the top spot while KP Pannu and Tommaso Schold picked up a 6-4 win.
Needing three points to clinch another conference championship, the Cougars did as they've done all season and went to work in their singles matches.
Top-ranked Pannu dissected his opponent at the top spot, winning in straight sets 6-2, 6-0. In his three singles matches this conference tournament, Pannu gave up a total of just six games overall. The two-time Peach Belt Conference player of the year will enter the NCAA Tournament with a 21-1 record this season in singles, all of which have been played at the top spot.
At third singles the Cougars notched another point thanks to a 6-1, 6-3 point by 30th-ranked Regalado. The sophomore took down 43rd-ranked Antonio Sabugueiro, giving him his 16th-straight win in singles play.
Schold grabbed the other point the Cougars needed in clinching the match after he came out on top 6-1, 6-3 at sixth.
With the championship in hand, the other three courts went unfinished as the Cougars celebrated the three-peat.
75th-ranked Fabien Asdrubal was up 6-3, 4-1 at second singles while 60th-ranked Kokulewski was tied 1-6, 6-3 at fourth. 66th-ranked Avram was trailing 4-6, 3-4 at the time the match concluded.
Columbus State gets the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Southeast Regional which will be played May 11 and 12. The NCAA Tournament field will be revealed during the selection show on May 7.