Cougs jump out to 8-stroke lead at CAA men’s tourney

SOUTHPORT, N.C. — The No. 44-ranked College of Charleston men’s golf team got off to a great start at the CAA Men’s Golf Championship, shooting an opening-round 296 (+8) on Friday at the Founders Club at St. James Plantation.

The two-time defending tournament champion Cougars hold an 8-stroke lead over second-place James Madison (+16). Junior William Rainey was the only player in the field to break par firing a 1-under 71 with three birdies and an eagle on par-4 6th. He is the current individual leader.

Junior Parker Derby is in fourth after shooting a first-round 73 (+1) with two birdies and also an eagle on the No. 6 hole. Sophomore Anthony Gabriele is tied for seventh at +3, junior Philip Oweida tied for 16th at +5 and senior John Jonas tied for 19th at +6.

After rain forced a change in venue, the No. 2-seeded College of Charleston men’s tennis team took down No. 7 James Madison, 4-1, in the first round of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.

The Cougars (17-6) will face No. 3 seed, and tournament host, Elon in the semifinal round on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.

Zack Lewis got the first point for Charleston with a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Tristan Stitt, but JMU drew even at 1-1 when Maxi Branth beat Charlie Ghriskey, 6-4, 6-2 at the No. 3 spot. Rodrigo Encinas rallied for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Brett Moorhead at No. 2 and Juan Esteverena outlasted Sebastian Salinas, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) in the No. 1 singles flight.

The match came to a close at the No. 6 position when Garrett Gordon defeated James Madison’s Alex Berdnikoff, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4). With the win, Charleston has now reached the semifinals in each of its three seasons as a member of the CAA.

The College of Charleston women’s tennis team rolled over UNC Wilmington, 4-0, to cruise into the second round of the CAA women’s tournament.

Mara Argyriou kicked things off with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Laura Gomez in the fourth flight, followed by Liza Fieldsend squaring off with Annika Sillanpaa in the top flight, where she earned the 6-4, 6-3 win.

From there, the seniors carried Charleston to the win. Brooke McAmis knocked off Alix Theodossiou, 6-1, 6-0, in the third flight, while Katherine Schofield ended UNCW’s season with a 6-2, 6-4 win in the second flight.

The fourth-seeded Cougars pulled off the win in only 80 minutes.

Charleston will take on top-seeded William & Mary in the semifinals on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Elon’s Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.