September 30, 2012

Men's tennis brings home three second-place trophies

By HEATHER KENNEDY
UNCBears.com

OMAHA – The Northern Colorado Men's Tennis team had another strong showing in its second week of the fall tournament season. From the three day tournament hosted by Creighton, the Bears brought home three second-place and two third-place medals.

In doubles, sophomore Ben Gendron and freshman Mitchel Knight lost in the championship bout of Flight A, losing 8-3 to Creighton's Brandon Lee and Billy Paluch. The Bears duo reached the finals by defeating Matt Frost and Conner Tieszen of Nebraska-Omaha 8-2 in the first round and Elliott Baker and Ryan Norman of Creighton 8-5 in the semifinals.

Sophomore Jordan Loughnan and junior Michael Moya were also in the A Flight of doubles and finished fourth. The pair won their opening match 8-6 against South Dakota State's James Thorp and Andrea Boglic. The dropped their second match 8-6 to the eventual champions from Creighton before falling 8-2 to Baker and Norman.

The C Flight of doubles had just four teams entered, so the teams played a round-robin format and freshmen Eric Schuermans and Jacob Sheldon went 2-1. The pair defeated Nebraska-Omaha's team of Erik Anderson and Nathan Greteman, 8-2 before dropping a close 8-5 decision to Creighton's Anthony Raushenbach and Quinn Dippel in the second match on Saturday. The duo won 8-1 on Sunday over Jared Vigen and Will Biernat from North Dakota.

Juniors Jeff Carlson and Jordan Faith were paired together in the B Flight and struggled, losing all three matches.

In singles action, Gendron and Knight were both in the A Flight, with Gendron placing second and Knight third.

Gendron won 7-5, 6-1 in his opening bout over Tieszan from Nebraska-Omaha then won a weird three-set match over Norman from Creighton, 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 before losing 6-4, 6-0 to Paluch.

Knight was in the top half of the bracket and opened the tournament with a lopsided 6-1, 6-1 victory over Thorp from South Dakota State. He then lost 6-2, 6-2 to Paluch before bouncing back to defeat Norman 6-3, 6-3.

In the C Flight, Schuermans also played in the title match, losing 6-2, 6-1 to South Dakota State's Henrique Pereira. He reached the finals with a 7-6, 3-0 injury default win over South Dakota State's Luis Duque and a come-from-behind 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Connor Larson from Nebraska-Omaha.

Moya was placed in Flight D and took third place. He broke serve twice late in each set to win 7-5, 7-5 over Biernat in the opening round before losing in three to Mateus Moreira from South Dakota State – the eventual champion – 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. Moya dropped the opening set in the third-place match, 6-4, but settled in to win 6-2, 10-8 in the next two sets for the victory over Creighton's Nick Thompson.

The E Flight had 12 entries and was also played in a round-robin format where each player competed in three matches. Both Sheldon and Faith went 2-1 for the Bears.

Sheldon won his opening bout 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 over Anderson from Nebraska-Omaha and 6-2, 6-4 against Creighton's Sam Wells before dropping a 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 decision to Jack Fay from Creighton.

Faith dominated 6-0, 6-1 in his opening match against Vigen from North Dakota, but dropped his second match 6-3, 6-3 to Rauschenbach – the only player to win all three of his matches. Faith came back to win in convincing fashion, 6-1, 6-2 over North Dakota's David Bergstrom.

Loughnan went 1-2 in the C Flight of singles. He lost to champion Parker Lawley from South Dakota State, 7-6 (3), 6-1 in the first round and the dropped a hard three-set match 7-5, 3-6, 10-6 to Nebraska-Omaha's John Ellis. The draw actually had he and Carlson scheduled to face each other for seventh-place, but because two Creighton players were slated to face each other for third place, the school's flipped the brackets. Loughnan won 6-3, 6-3 in the final match against Brandon Lee.

Carlson lost all three of his singles matches in the flight, losing 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 to Lee, 2-6, 6-0, 10-8 to Ryan McGuigan from North Dakota and 6-4, 6-4 to Dippel.

The Bears now have two-and-a-half weeks off from competition to prepare for the ITA Fall Regionals, which will take place Oct. 17-21 in Las Vegas.