Fire Ants earn chance to compete in national championship in May

By DENNIS BRUNSON dennis@theitem.com
Posted 2/27/18

With just two teams in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region X, there was much on the line when the University of South Carolina Sumter took on Spartanburg Methodist College on Saturday in Spartanburg.

While a region …

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Fire Ants earn chance to compete in national championship in May

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With just two teams in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region X, there was much on the line when the University of South Carolina Sumter took on Spartanburg Methodist College on Saturday in Spartanburg.

While a region championship was obviously in the offing, the most important thing was the winner earned a spot in the national championship to be held in May.

And it is USC Sumter that will be playing for a national title. The Fire Ants rolled over SMC 9-0.

"Our expectations were sky high," said first-year USC Sumter head coach Alex Poda. "We are led by two nationally ranked players in Peter Kovats and Jordan George and have another great sophomore leader in Albert Smreczak.

"With that, this championship is a lot of fun, and I could not be more proud of our guys, but this was only one goal to lead us to our ultimate goal. We are honored to be Region X Champions and I just hope that this can be the first of many in the coming years."

The Fire Ants swept the three doubles matches 8-0. The No. 3 team of Leonard Zancheta and Nicklaus Neal was the first one to wrap up its match.

USCS, ranked 19th in the country, needed just two victories in the six singles matches. Neal, playing at No. 5, was the first to close out with a 6-0, 6-0 victory. Filip Stevanovic won at No. 6 6-0, 6-0 to secure the playoff berth.