AUGUSTA, GA – With the end of the regular season on Saturday, the Peach Belt Conference has released the bracket for the 2017 men's tennis conference tournament, which begins on Friday in Florence, S.C. The top eight teams in the league advance to tournament play with four quarterfinal matches on Friday morning at 1 pm. Semifinals will be held on Saturday with the championship match on Sunday. There will also be a backdraw for third and fifth places.
Columbus State defeated Lander in the final regular-season match on Saturday, moving into a tie with Armstrong State at 9-1 in the league standings. Both teams were named PBC regular-season co-champions, but CSU takes the #1 seed thanks to their 6-3 win over the Pirates on March 25. CSU last captured a share of the regular-season championship in 2014, which was also the year of their first PBC Tournament title.
Armstrong State has won 11 of the last 12 PBC Tournaments, including the last two. The Pirates are ranked #4 in the latest ITA poll, tops among all PBC teams. The three-time national champions are 16-6 overall on the season and defeated North Georgia 7-2 on Saturday to earn a share of the regular-season title.
Lander began Saturday in a three-way tie for the lead, but their loss at Columbus State gives the Bearcats the #3 seed in the PBC Tournament. LU is 15-4 overall on the season, 8-2 in league play and are seeking their first PBC Tournament title since ending a run of 11 straight in 2002. Ranked #5 in the nation, Lander reached the PBC championship match in 2015.
North Georgia won seven PBC conference matches this year, most in school history, and are the #4 seed for the PBC Tournament. The Nighthawks are 18-3 overall on the year and ranked 13th in the nation.
Flagler defeated Georgia College 6-3 on Saturday to capture the #5 seed in the tournament. The Saints reached the PBC Tournament semifinals for the second time in school history last year and won the 3rd-place match.
USC Aiken won their final three league matches to surge forward and take the #6 seed for the tournament. The Pacers enter the postseason with a four-match winning streak and have won six of their last eight.
Georgia College, Young Harris and Francis Marion all finished the regular-season with 3-7 league records. With only two spots remaining, the three were placed in the PBC tiebreaker procedure. All were 1-1 against the others in head-to-head play, but Georgia College took the 7th seed in the second step. The Bobcats were the only league team to defeat Columbus State this season, giving them the tiebreak advantage.
All matches in the PBC Tournament will be played at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Tennis Center in Florence. The tournament website can be seen here.
PBC Men's Tennis
Friday, April 21, 1:00 pm
#1 Columbus State vs. #8 Young Harris
#2 Armstrong State vs. #7 Georgia College
#3 Lander vs. #6 USC Aiken
#4 North Georgia vs. #5 Flagler