Camels overcome depleted roster, rain delay to defeat UC Riverside, 4-3

Gerard Sola (Bennett Scarborough Photo)
Gerard Sola (Bennett Scarborough Photo)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. -- The Fighting Camels overcame a good deal of adversity Tuesday evening at the James R. Nisbet Tennis Center as they defeated the UC Riverside Highlanders, 4-3. Campbell was without its top two singles players due to injury, but that did not stop CU from grinding out the close victory.

The match was clinched by Campbell sophomore Gerard Sola at No. 2 singles, the highest spot he has played this season. After dropping the first set in a tiebreaker, Sola was able to force and dominate a third set to defeat UCR's Kyle McCann, 6-7, 6-3, 6-1. The win helped Campbell remain an undefeated 9-0 at home this spring, and was the first 4-3 victory for CU this season.

Campbell (15-3, 4-1 Big South) opened the match with two quick doubles wins to claim the doubles point. On court one, Lorenz Schwab and Dustin Werner took care of business as they defeated Abdallah/Lansky, 6-1, for their second-straight victory. Fabien Ayet and Lukas Schaefer took their match at No. 3 doubles over McCann/Cohen, 6-1, to clinch the doubles point. Tied at 3-3 on court two, Jonathan O'Neal and Sola played a tiebreaker but fell to Bridge/Chung to wrap up doubles play.

In singles, the Camels were without Nicolas Rakitin and Schaefer due to injury, so the typical lineup was shifted up two spots for CU. About halfway through the first set of each singles match, rain began to fall and the contest was delayed for an hour to pile on even more adversity for the Fighting Camels.

CU came out of the delay with two quick wins to open singles action. Campbell freshman Fernando Clemente earned his third-straight singles win on court three with a score of 6-3, 6-1. On court four, O'Neal overcame a 4-0 deficit in the second set to earn his fifth singles win of the season, 6-1, 6-4.

Trailing 3-0, the Highlanders (9-12, 0-0 Big West) responded with three-straight singles wins on courts one, five and six to tie the match. Werner fell on court one, 7-6, 6-1 to snap a four-match win streak, followed by Schwab on court five who was defeated, 7-6, 6-2. Louis Monterosso represented Campbell on court six but fell in three sets, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in just his third singles match this spring.

Sola's match-clinching win was his 14th of the season, a mark that is tied for second in the Big South with his teammate, Clemente. Sola has gotten back on track recently as he has now won back-to-back matches after losing his previous two. 

Up next, the Camels will travel to Boiling Springs, N.C. for a Big South matchup against the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs. The contest is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 30 at the GWU Tennis Courts. For the most up-to-date information on Campbell tennis, follow @GoCamelsTennis on Twitter.