January 27, 2013

Men's Tennis loses close battle with Montana State

By HEATHER KENNEDY
UNCBears.com

GREELEY – There's nothing like jumping right in with both feet and that's what the Northern Colorado Men's Tennis team did on Sunday, starting Big Sky Conference play in the second match of the season.

The Bears (1-1, 0-1 Big Sky) battled extremely tough, but eventually lost 4-3 to Montana State (1-1, 1-0 Big Sky) at Work Out West.

After defeating Seattle in their season opener on Saturday, Head Coach Tim Bearman spoke about how he was proud of the team, but really wished they could have won the doubles point. The team responded less than 18 hours later by winning that all important first point.

"We came out strong in doubles and executed well," Bearman said. "I was happy with the energy and footwork from the team. In singles there were a bunch of back and forth matches but in the end we came up a little short."

Sophomore Jordan Loughan (Mudgee, New South Wales) and freshman Mitchel Knight (Tulsa, Okla.) defeated Javier Martin-Morillas and Prithiv Sivasubramaniam at No. 2 doubles, 8-6, while junior Michael Moya (Whittier, Calif.) and freshman Eric Schuermans (Sao Paulo, Brazil) beat Markus Schleuter and Kenny Dodd 8-5 at No. 3.

Knight came back to win a thriller at No. 3 singles. After getting broken late in the first set by Martin-Morillas and losing 7-5, he did the same thing in set two, getting the late break for the 7-5 win. In the third set, the pair went to a tiebreaker, where Knight completely dominated, winning 7-0 for the 2-0 start to the year.

Sophomore Ben Gendron (Flower Mound, Texas) also won a thrilling three-set singles match, defeating Schleuter at No. 2 singles. Gendron got off to a quick start, winning the first set 6-2, but struggled in the second set, losing 6-1. In the third and final set, Gendron refocused and won 6-2.

Senior Brandon Lupo (Broomfield, Colo.) was also in a dog fight at No. 1 singles against Niklas Brandes. Lupo won the first set, 7-5 and the two battled to a tiebreak in the second set with Brandes eventually getting the 8-6 win. Brandes kept the momentum from the tiebreak to pull out the 6-1 victory in the third set.

The team will head to the Air Force Academy to take on Maryland-Baltimore County and Air Force on Feb. 9-10, respectively.