04/30/12 — Mount Olive falls to Wingate in Southest tennis regional

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Mount Olive falls to Wingate in Southest tennis regional

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on April 30, 2012 1:49 PM

MOC Sports Information

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Akio Mariano and Murilo Pelegrino posted straight-set singles wins to rally No. 9 seed Mount Olive to a 3-3 tie, but No. 8 seed Wingate won the final two singles matches and emerged victorious, 5-3, in opening-round play of the 2012 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional men's tennis tournament Sunday afternoon.

The Trojans concluded the year 18-7 overall.

MOC's top-seeded tandem of Edgar Bub-Rik Wolthuis triumphed 8-5, but Wingate took two of three doubles matches.

Akio Mariano and Murilo Pelegrino, seeded fourth and fifth, respectively, each prevailed on the singles courts. Mariano won 6-2, 6-3. Pelegrino, who earned the match-clinching point in the Conference Carolinas tournament final, pulled out a grinding 6-4, 7-6 (3) decision over the Bulldogs' Ryan Forbes.

Wingate captured first-set tiebreakers at Nos. 2 and 6 singles, and earned a three-set win at No. 1 singles.

MOC came within two individual wins of becoming just the second Trojan team in school history to record a win in its first contest in its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. The Trojan women's basketball team posted a first-round win in the 2008 NCAA II East Regional.

Despite the loss, MOC head coach Kevin Coghill had nothing but praise for his team.

"I think we took a huge step this year," Coghill said. "I'm very proud of how hard the guys worked and what they accomplished. I think we're moving in the right direction in terms of being a contender in the conference and the region."

It was the final match for two MOC seniors -- Pelegrino and Diego Sender.