April 22, 2007
Bearcats Drop 5-2 Match to Washburn in MIAA Championship
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - ( L 5-2) Northwest Missouri State men's tennis forced two singles matches into three sets but couldn't pull off the win in a 5-2 loss to Washburn in the MIAA Tournament Championship match this afternoon. The Ichabods win their second straight title while the Bearcats finish runner-up for the third consecutive season.
Northwest moves to 13-6 while Washburn improves to 16-2.
Senior Chris Smith and junior Jake Saulsbury put Northwest ahead 1-0 with a 8-3 win in No. 1 doubles over Rutger Vliegenberg and Andrew Plum. But losses at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles set the Bearcats behind 2-1 going into singles competition.
Vliegenberg defeated sophomore Daniel Usieto in straight sets at No. 1 singles and Ryan Ward recorded a 6-0, 6-3 decision over freshman Felipe Gennari at No. 4 singles to put together a 4-1 Washburn lead. Saulsbury defeated Plum 6-4, 7-5 at No. 6 singles to pull the Bearcats to within two. Senior Chris Smith dropped No. 3 singles in 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 to Nathan Martin, providing the fifth point for Washburn to claim the conference title.
The Bearcats were leading in the two sets that weren't finished, with senior Pablo Acebedo ahead of Drew Hanson 3-2 in the second set after winning the first set 7-6 in a 13-11 tiebreaker. Junior Lucas Ariboni was ahead in the third set 3-0 over Brad Johnston after losing 4-6 in the first set and winning the second set 7-5.
With the regular season complete, Northwest will await word for advancement to the NCAA postseason, with regional competition taking place May 3-5 on campus sites. The 2007 NCAA Division II National Championships are scheduled for May 9-12 at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
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