After a shaky start to the morning, the second-seeded Oglethorpe men's tennis team recovered to rout seventh-seeded Berry, 9-0, at the SAA Championships Friday morning in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
The No. 3 doubles team of Briton Richardson and Nick Roby swept to victory 8-0 to start the morning, but the other two doubles matches proved to be considerably more difficult for the Petrels. The No. 2 team of Brian Bailey and Kirk Zhao found themselves down a break before recovering to win, 8-5.
The No. 1 team of Ethan Motz and Ben Hirsch got down 7-5 with Berry serving for the match. The Vikings team earned two match points in the game, but Motz and Hirsch saved them both to break the Berry pair, and won four games in a row in all to win the match, 9-7, in rousing comeback fashion.
After losing an opportunity to go ahead 2-1 and instead finding themselves behind 3-0, Berry went down fairly easily in singles. Hirsch quickly dispatched of his opponent at No. 3 to draw the Petrels to within one point of clinching the dual match.
Richardson earned that point at No. 5, defeating his opponent 6-0, 6-1, clinching Oglethorpe's passage into the semifinals. Seconds later, Zhao finished off his No. 4 opponent 6-1, 6-1, and Bailey made short work of his, 6-2, 6-0.
The No. 1 match, featuring Motz, was competitive, but Motz kept his opponent at arm's length most of the match, and finished the day with a 6-4, 6-4 victory, securing a clean sweep.
The Petrels improve to 18-4 on the season with the win, and more importantly, advance to Saturday's semifinals against third-seeded Rhodes, who the Petrels beat in a very tough match just two weeks ago. The dual match will get started at 10 a.m. Eastern time from Old Fort Park in Murfreesboro.