Perez, Van Lier Make Men's Tennis History at Regionals
LAS VEGAS -- Northern Colorado’s Adam
Perez and Calix Van Lier got to visit the bright lights of Las
Vegas last week for the Wilson Intercollegiate Tennis Association
Mountain Fall Regional.
Perez, a sophomore, and Van Lier, a freshman, were the first Northern Colorado players to qualify for the event in five years.
The two opened the tournament with victories over Big Sky rival Northern Arizona. Van Lier cruised against the Lumberjacks’ David Flodberg (6-3, 6-2), and Perez got past NAU’s Robin Pezzuto (6-2, 1-6, 6-4).
Van Lier’s run then ended with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 loss to No. 6 seed Kean Feeder from Boise State, and Perez ended his fall season with a 7-6, 6-1 defeat to No. 17 seed Wes Hancock of Utah.
“I thought we had a solid performance, overall, in Vegas,” Northern Colorado coach Steve Williams said. “It was nice to see both players grab a win in singles in the main draw. This tournament let us see how we stack up against some very solid Division 1 programs.”
On top of Van Lier and Perez making history by just qualifying for the tournament, their victories were also Northern Colorado’s first ever men’s regional wins.
“Our guys need to believe that they can compete against this level of competition, and we actually proved that we have the ability to hang shot for shot with the players from these tough schools,” Williams said. “Our players have a long ways to go, and we realize that, but we continue to move forward as a team.”
The Bears will now take some time off to prepare for the spring season. Northern Colorado will next compete on Jan. 25, 2009, against Eastern Washington University.
MEN’S OPEN SINGLES
Calix Van Lier
def. David Flodberg (NAU) 6-3, 6-2
loss Kean Feeder (BSU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
loss Joe Wood (UNM) 7-6, 6-2
def. Robin Pezzuto (NAU) 6-2, 1-6. 6-4
loss Wes Hancock (UU) 7-6, 6-1
loss Stanley Sarapanich (BSU) 6-4, 6-2
MEN’S OPEN DOUBLES
loss Stefan Simikic/Fredrick Walsh (BSU) 8-6
loss Phillip Anderson/Carl Ho (UNM) 8-5