Bluefield, WV- The Big Blue have done it again! For the 6th straight year, Bluefield State wins a share of the Atlantic Region Title. Bluefield State defeated Mercyhurst 5-1 to move on to Altamonte Springs, FL. Chowan University won the other Atlantic Regional today to be the 2nd Atlantic Team to make the Round of 16 in Florida.
Mercyhurst reached the finals after a grueling 2 day competition against PSAC Rival Edinboro. The Lakers had a 4-1 lead against Edinboro but saw that lead disappear as the Fighting Scots made a furious comeback. The final singles match was then halted due to inclement weather and so Bluefield State had to wait to see who they were playing. Mercyhurst and Edinboro came back out Sunday morning and finished the final singles match and the Lakers edged out the Scots 5-4 for the 2nd time this season, advancing to play Bluefield State.
Even playing their 1st match over two days, the Lakers were ready for Bluefield State during the doubles competition. Giorgi Datashvili and Luca Ockernahl could not overcome Nenad Terzic and Cormac McCooey of Mercyhurst and fell 8-3. But Bluefield State's #2 and #3 doubles made up for the setback, winning in very close matches. Platon Gud and Ignacio Pulido finished off Conor McCooey and Joaquin Aguilera 8-6. Alexandr Rudenco and Anthony Braem got the 2nd doubles point for BSC winning 8-3 over Sebastian Pardo and Arseniy Sklyarov.
The singles matches were much quicker as Bluefield State only needed to win 3 of the 6 matches to clinch the overall match. Both Luca Ockernahl and Giorgi Datashvili made up for their doubles setback by winning their singles match. Ockernahl won 6-1, 6-3 and Datashvili won 6-3, 6-1. Alexandr Rudenco sealed the victory for Bluefield State, winning 6-4, 6-2. Platon Gud, Ignacio Pulido and Anthony Braem's matches were all halted as BSC were able to win the required 5 matches.
The run of 6 straight Atlantic Regional Co-Championships has been an amazing mark that few teams around the country can touch. This run included an 83-match win streak against Regional Competition, which was ended earlier this season. The NCAA Round of 16 starts May 9th but it will be another day before the Big Blues officially find out who they face. As it sits now, BSC will play the winner of UC San Diego and Azusa Pacific who play their West Regional tomorrow. Go-bstate.com will have a full preview of the Big Blues match once the Round of 16 bracket becomes official.