ROME, Ga. – Columbus State University men’s tennis player KP Pannu claimed a championship on Saturday, bringing home the title at the 2017 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Oracle Cup.
The title is the first at the Oracle Cup in Columbus State tennis history.
“KP has played so well this fall,” head coach Evan Isaacs said. “He continues to get better every time he steps onto the court and he is showing that he’s one of the best players in the country.”
Pannu fell behind in Saturday’s championship match, dropping the opening set against top-seeded Oliver Frank of Azusa Pacific 7-6. The second set went to a tiebreak as well, this time with Pannu coming out on top 7-6 to extend the match.
It was in the final set where Pannu took over the match. The junior captured the championship with a 6-2 showing in the final set.
With the victory, Pannu now advances to the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships Nov. 1-5 in Palm Desert, Calif. where he will compete in the same tournament as the nation’s top Division I players.
Pannu’s day wasn’t done with the singles title, as he paired with Alvaro Regalado in the doubles championship in the afternoon. However, the doubles match didn’t go Columbus State’s way, with the Cougars falling 6-0, 6-3.
Beatriz Lopez was also victorious on Saturday for the Lady Cougars. After falling in Friday’s semifinals, the sophomore bounced back for a 6-1, 6-1 win in the third-place match.
Formerly known as the Small College Nationals, the ITA Oracle Cup has history dating back to 1986, and it is the only singles and doubles national championship event for the Division II and NAIA levels. This year, more than 8,000 players took part in a total of 60 regional tournaments to gain entry into the ITA Oracle Cup field.