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Men's Tennis - Thu, Sep. 21, 2017

At Kentucky's Georgetown College, the Montreat Cavaliers' men's tennis team was back in action today at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Southeast Regional Championship. There the Cavaliers are part of a field that includes a handful of NAIA top 25 teams as well as three familiar conference foes in Milligan, Union, and Bluefield College The competition extends through Sunday. 

The event is one in a series of small college regionals held across the country from September 14 - October 1, followed by NCAA Division I regionals from October 11 - October 23.

Heading into the ITA, the Cavaliers prepped last weekend with a trio of NCAA matches. As reported, the Cavs topped Mars Hill at home on Friday, On Saturday they fell to Lenoir-Rhyne, 8-1, and then on Sunday dropped a 7-2 decision to North Carolina's Guilford College. The three consecutive days of matches were designed to mimic the demands of the AAC tournament schedule next spring.

Against Lenoir-Rhyne, it was Ben Cree (SO/Belfast, Northern Ireland) who garnered the Cavs' sole win when he beat the Bears' Alex Ayguavives in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6.

"They were extremely tough," said head coach Andrew Cobb of the host Bears. "Ben's win at fourth singles was simply because of discipline, focus, and more energy than the other guy. Across the board we started to show a little fatigue, but the guys still fought hard." On Saturday, the Cavs' lost their #1 singles player, David Garcia (JR/Madrid, Spain), to a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the following day's match against Guilford.

Cree carried his momentum into Sunday when he dispatched Guilford's Graham Pearson, 6-2, 6-2, at third singles. Grayson Chumley (SO/Woodstock, GA) ensured that Montreat would improve on Saturday's performance when he handily defeated the Quakers' Kai Glass, 6-1, 6-1 at sixth singles.

Next up: Men's tennis continues at the ITA Regional through Sunday. On Saturday September 30, they travel to Greensboro to face North Carolina A&T at 12:30 p.m..

Pictured: Montreat's Ben Cree serves against Mars Hill at Montreat's Patricia Cornwell Tennis Center

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