April 26, 2008
Northwest Falls in MIAA Semifinals
TOPEKA, Kan.-Southwest Baptist advanced to Sunday's MIAA championship match following a 5-1 win against Northwest Missouri State Saturday at the MIAA Team Championships hosted by Washburn. The purple Bearcats face the host-Ichabods for the title. Washburn, the top seed, is the two-time defending champion of the event.
Southwest Baptist (11-4) , Washburn (12-5) and Northwest (15-5) entered the tournament as the top three teams in the North Central Region. Since all three teams went 1-1 against the other two during the regular season, a draw was held Friday to seed the top three teams. Washburn won the draw and was seeded No. 1.
Southwest Baptist handed Northwest its only MIAA loss this season, a 7-2 decision in Bolivar, Mo., back on March 24. Jake Saulsbury and Giovanni Auricchio earned a win at No. 3 doubles that day and Saturday, accounted for Northwest's only point. The tandem defeated Micah AuBuchon and Agustin Mollar 8-4.
SBU took two of three doubles points and earned wins at No. 1, 2 and 3 singles to secure the match. Northwest's Daniel Usieto took the first set from Emilio El Alabi 6-0 at No. 3 singles, but dropped the next two 6-1, 6-3.
Despite the loss, the Bearcats are likely to earn a spot in the NCAA Regional Championships scheduled to be played May 8-9 or May 9-10. The official announcement of the tournament field comes Wednesday, April 30.
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