May 4, 2007
Northwest Men Advance to NCAA National Championships with 5-4 Defeat of Southwest BaptistMARYVILLE - (W 5-4) Junior Lucas Ariboni's three-set victory at No. 5 singles provided the winning fifth point for the No. 2 seed Northwest Missouri State men's tennis team in a 5-4 victory over No. 3 seed Southwest Baptist in the finals of the NCAA North Central Regional tournament. The five-hour match was played at the Frank Grube Courts on the Northwest campus.
Northwest moves to 15-6 on the season and plays California-San Diego in the Round of 16 in Altamonte Springs, Fla., on May 9. The trip to the national tournament is the fourth since 1983 and the second straight for the men. Southwest Baptist ends its season at 11-11.
Ariboni and freshman Felipe Gennari put Northwest on the board first with a 8-4 win at No. 3 doubles over Alan Mohadeb and Micah AuBuchon. The green Bearcats struck again with an 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles provided by junior Jake Saulsbury and senior Chris Smith. Southwest Baptist took No. 2 doubles 8-4, with Alex Kacamakis and Agustin Mollar defeating senior Pablo Acebedo and sophomore Daniel Usieto.
Usieto dropped a pair of 6-3 matches to Alex Kacamakis at No. 1 singles, allowing SBU to even the score at two apiece. The purple Bearcats took their first team lead of the day when Mollar defeated Smith 6-3, 7-5 at No. 3 singles. Acebedo evened the team score at 3-3 by defeating Emilio El Alabi 6-3, 6-4.
Southwest Baptist regained the lead at No. 4 singles, with Gennari dropping a tiebreaker second set 7-4 to Daniel Prerad in a 6-3, 7-6 loss. Saulsbury gave Northwest the fourth team point in a 6-2, 6-0 win over AuBuchon at No. 6 singles, creating a 4-4 tie with the No. 5 singles result still outstanding.
Ariboni won the first set 6-2 before dropping the second set in a 8-6 tiebreaker to Mohadeb. Trailing 2-3 in the second set, Ariboni won four of the next five games to claim the 6-4 win and the Northwest team victory.
NOTES: SBU's Kacamakis is ranked No. 21 in the latest ITA/FILA national singles rankings ... The 5-4 win is the first for Northwest in regional play since a 5-4 win over Truman State and second all-time ... Northwest improves to 11-6 in NCAA Regional action and 4-3 in the second round all-time ... Northwest is now 11-9 all-time in the NCAA postseason (since 1983) ... Northwest is now 9-21 all-time against Southwest Baptist and 2-0 when playing in the postseason ... This is the first 15-win season for Northwest since 2004 and the 12th in Mark Rosewell's tenure (since 1985).
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