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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's tennis saw its tournament title hopes dashed, falling to Jacksonville State, 4-2, in the OVC semifinal round from Hadley Park.

The Bruins, which claimed a share of its third regular season conference championship earlier this month, could not find an answer against a Gamecock squad that ousted Belmont, 4-3, during league play.

As was the case in the first meeting, Belmont got off to an inauspicious start, dropping the doubles' point in three hard-fought matches.

Junior Vincent Sterkens (Antwerp, Belgium) and sophomore Grant Kelly (Atlanta, Ga.) earned victory at third doubles, but two narrow 6-4 wins at first and second doubles enabled Jacksonville State to seize the early lead.

Sterkens continued his fine play, getting Belmont on the board with a straight-set win at fifth singles.

Senior Joan Valy (Athis-Mons, France) quickly posted Belmont's second point with a 7-5, 6-2 win at third singles.

But momentum stalled, as Jacksonville State claimed wins at first and second singles to reclaim control.

Jordi Blanchar secured the outcome with a three-set victory over sophomore Jake Briggs (Marietta, Ga.).

 

2019 OVC Men's Tennis Championship - semifinal round

Jacksonville State 4, Belmont 2

Singles competition

1. Aljaz Kaplja (JSUM) def. Hendrik Inno (BELM) 6-2, 6-2

2. Joaquin Vallejo (JSUM) def. Marko Ilic 6-3, 6-2

3. Joan Valy (BELM) def. Guillermo Agost (JSUM) 7-5, 6-2

4. Zak Khan (BELM) vs. Alex Vishnevskiy (JSUM) 4-6, unfinished

5. Vincent Sterkens (BELM) def. Sergio Lizarraga (JSUM) 6-3, 6-2

6. Jordi Blanchard (JSUM) def. Jake Briggs (BELM) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3

 

Doubles competition

1. Aljaz Kaplja/Sergio Lizarraga (JSUM) def. Marko Ilic/Joan Valy 6-4

2. Guillermo Acost/Jordi Blanchar (JSUM) def. Hendrik Inno/Zak Khan (BELM) 6-4

3. Vincent Sterkens/Grant Kelly (BELM) def. Alex Vishnevskiy/Joaquin Vallejo (JSUM) 6-3