Columbus State Advances, Armstrong Atlantic Falls at NCAA Men's Tennis Finals
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FLA -- A magical run came to an end while
another may be beginning as the national quarterfinal round is over
at the NCAA Division II national championships at Altamonte
Park. Columbus State, playing in their first finals, reached
the semis following their 5-1 win over Northwood (Mich.). The
news was not so good for two-time defending national champion
Armstrong Atlantic, who fell to Barry 5-2.
The Cougars started their afternoon by taking 2-of-3 doubles matches from the Timberwolves. The team of Oliver Simonet and Nemanja Djuric tallied the squads' first point of the match with an impressive 8-2 win over Haas and Oliveira at the No. 2 spot. After the No. 1 pair of Peter Kazianschuetz and Frederic Schoelzel made the score 2-0, the Timberwolves No. 3 duo of Filip Cojbasic and Daniel Stomberg cut the lead in half with an 8-5 win at No. 3 doubles.
The Cougars, however, did not let the loss trip them up as they as they registered victories in three-straight singles contests to complete the team win. Christophe Noblet turned in the most impressive performance as he ousted his opponent, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 5 singles. It was soon followed by a 6-1, 6-4 win by Simonet at the No. 3 spot, while Stomberg put the finishing touches on the match with a 6-3, 6-0 at No. 4 singles.
With the match secured, the remaining contests went unfinished.
Columbus State now faces their sternest test of the tournament as they take on top-ranked Valdosta State on Friday at 1:00 pm.
The bid for three straight NCAA Division II men's tennis national championships for No. 2-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State came to an end at the hands of the team that the Pirates had beaten in the last two title matches - No. 4-ranked Barry.
The Bucs closed out three third-set singles victories to take a 5-2 win over AASU, earning a berth in the 2010 NCAA Division II Men's Tennis semifinals. The Pirates finish their season with a 30-2 overall record - a third straight 30-win campaign for AASU.
There was quite the initial similarity between Thursday's match and the 5-4 classic won by the Pirates a year ago at Sanlando Park. As they did in 2009, Barry took a 2-1 lead after doubles play, winning at No. 2 doubles behind Emanuel Fraitzl and Marco Mokrzycki's 8-5 victory over Daniel Regan and Matus Mydla, and at No. 3 doubles behind Andrew Sharnov and Sergio Velez, who downed Eudaldo Bonet and Paul Fitzgerald, 8-6. The No. 3 doubles match began with Barry's duo owning a 6-0 lead; the Pirates fought back to 7-6, but the Bucs prevailed for the all-important second doubles point.
AASU's doubles point came from No. 3-ranked Rafael Array and Mikk Irdoja, an 8-1 winner over No. 10-ranked Ales Svigelj and Max Wimmer.
A year ago, only one match of the six went to three sets - Array's match-clincher. This time, four of the six matches went to a third set. The only two-setter to finish was No. 11-ranked Array's 7-5, 6-2 win over Fraitzl at No. 3 singles. Barry claimed a point at No. 6 with Velez' 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 win over Fitzgerald - handing Fitzgerald his first dual match singles loss of the year. Sharnov claimed a 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 win over Regan at No. 5 singles, then Svigelj clinched the match for the Bucs with a stunning 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 win over No. 6-ranked Bonet - Svigelj trailed 3-0 in the third set and won six of the last seven games.