UNF Downs Stetson; To Battle ETSU in Championship Final

Saturday, April 21, 2012

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – No. 2 seed North Florida ended No. 3 Stetson’s run of seven-consecutive Atlantic Sun Championship finals, unseating the Hatters 4-1 on Saturday in the semifinals which took place at Milligan College.

After earning the doubles point by winning the matches on courts two and three, North Florida’s (19-5, 8-1 A-Sun) Pedro Davisson, First Team All-Conference member Daniel Sotomarino, and Norbert Nemcsek took three singles matches to send the Ospreys to their first-ever A-Sun Championship final. Last year, UNF entered the Championships as the No. 1 seed, but were upset in the semifinals by the fourth-seeded Hatters, 4-2.

Stetson (17-5, 7-2 A-Sun) will have to head back to DeLand, Fla. without a shot at the A-Sun title for the first time since 2005. A-Sun Player of the Year Maksim Levanovich was unable to carry the Hatters through, falling in the No. 2 doubles match and being forced to abandon his No. 1 singles match trailing First-Team selection Maurice Buerchner when UNF won its fourth point.

On what turned out to be a picturesque day in Johnson City, Tenn., Stetson and UNF had their matched moved to Milligan College and began play three hours ahead of the original schedule because of forecasted inclement weather. The Hatters looked to be comfortable with the change of venue, as Njal Stene and Hans Adrian Riseng defeated Nemcsek and Sotomarino 8-5 in the top match. The Ospreys rallied back, taking the No. 2 and No. 3 matches courtesy of their Buerchner and Beauregard Treyz duo, and No. 3 pairing of Leonardo Nahar and Davisson.

North Florida jumped out to 3-0 lead by taking the first two singles matches. Davisson took care of Nathan Debut 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4, before Sotomarino downed Stene at the No. 2 6-4, 6-2.

The Hatters showed some life, putting their first point of the day on the score board as Chester Espie defeated Treyz 6-4, 7-5. It would prove to be their only consolation of the day, as Nemcsek sent the Ospreys into Sunday with a 6-4, 7-5 win against Didrik Berg.

When the match ended, Stetson led the two unfinished contests as Levanovich was ahead of Buerchner 7-6 (7-1), 1-4, and Riseng led Nahar 7-6 (7-2), 1-2.

North Florida and ETSU are scheduled to meet in the 2012 Atlantic Sun Championship final on Sunday inside the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center at 10 a.m.

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The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region:Belmont University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.