CARY, N.C., April 29, 2023 – South Carolina State defeated North Carolina Central 4-0 on Saturday afternoon at the Cary Tennis Park to win the 2023 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) men’s tennis championship.
The Bulldogs won their third straight championship, and 18th overall, and earned the MEAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship.
The selection show will stream live on NCAA.com on Monday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs opened strong by taking the doubles point. MEAC Rookie of the Year Novak Novakovic and Mikalai Bankou grabbed the No. 3 doubles match with a 6-1 win over Shaka Cristellotti and Liam Murtaugh, while Aissa Benchakroun and Benajmin Niv won 6-2 at No. 1 doubles to send S.C. State into singles play up 1-0.
Once singles play started, Pedro Sasso made short work of his match at the No. 6 spot, defeating Facundo Olmedo 6-1, 6-0, while Bankou was just as impressive in his match at No. 3; he defeated Kareem Abdul Hakim 6-0, 6-2 to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.
The Bulldogs led in two of the three remaining matches, and the clincher came at No. 5 singles, where Niv took care of Cristellotti 6-1, 6-2.
Sasso was named the championship’s Outstanding Performer, while Hardeep Judge was named Outstanding Coach.
For more information, please visit the Championship Central page.
Outstanding Performer: Pedro Sasso, South Carolina State
Outstanding Coach: Hardeep Judge, South Carolina State
#1 Doubles: Aissa Benchakroun/Benjamin Niv, South Carolina State
#2 Doubles: Hugo Massoni Lena/Boris Lunin, Norfolk State
#3 Doubles: Novak Novakovic/Mikalai Bankou, South Carolina State
#1 Singles: Federico Rebecchini, Norfolk State
#2 Singles: Niles Rachal, Morgan State
#3 Singles: Mikalai Bankou, South Carolina State
#4 Singles: Naresh Bharathy, North Carolina Central
#5 Singles: Benjamin Niv, South Carolina State
#6 Singles: Pedro Sasso, South Carolina State
About the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) is in its 52nd year of intercollegiate competition with the 2022-23 academic school year. Located in Norfolk, Va., the MEAC is made up of eight outstanding historically black institutions across the Atlantic coastline: Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Howard University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina Central University and South Carolina State University.
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