GREENWOOD – The No. 8-ranked Lander men's tennis team suffered its first conference defeat on Tuesday as the Bearcats fell to No. 11-ranked USC Aiken in a 4-3 setback at the Joe Cabri Tennis Center.
Lander (11-3, 3-1 PBC) saw its streak of 73 consecutive wins against in-state opponents come to an end as USC Aiken (11-1, 4-1 PBC) took an early lead with a pair of doubles wins, despite Ozan Cildir and Omar El-Moslemany's 6-4 win at the No. 3 spot.
The Pacers pushed the lead to 2-0 in singles action and kept the Bearcats at bay. Lander pulled within a point of tying the match three different times. Thomas De Negri's 6-3, 6-3 win on court five made the score 2-1 and and Ozan Cildir's 6-4, 7-6 victory brought the Bearcats back to a 3-2 deficit. However, USC Aiken clinched the match before Eirik Groner earned a win at No. 3.
Lander will look to rebound Saturday afternoon as the Bearcats host North Georgia at 12:30 p.m.