May 1, 2012
No. 6 ACU blanks No. 16 Northwest, brings end to season
ABILENE, Texas – For the second consecutive season the No. 16 Northwest Missouri State men’s tennis team came to an end in the first round of the NCAA Tournament falling to No. 6 Abilene Christian, 5-0 Tuesday at the Eager Tennis Center.
The Bearcats (19-5) came into Tuesday’s match looking for their first regional title and trip to the Round of 16 since 2007. However, Northwest ran into a Wildcat (20-8) team playing its best tennis and fell one win shy of winning 20 matches. Of the eight losses for ACU, only one came at the hands of a NCAA Division II opponent playing a schedule heavily loaded with NCAA-DI teams.
With both teams battling strong winds gusting upwards to 30 mph it was the home team that found the right ingredients to pull off the win.
Opening doubles play ACU raced out to an early 3-0 lead by sweeping all three matches.
Since returning from injury, Calvin Patterson teamed with Luis Altimires to go undefeated on the second half of the season. However, on Tuesday the luck for the Bearcat duo ran out as Michael Morris and Guilherme Gesser battled to a 9-7 win at No. 3 doubles.
No. 2 doubles was just as hard fought however Northwest came out on the short end again falling 8-5, while the No. 1 doubles team of Mario Jakovljevic and Jose Ortega fell 8-4.
Needing only two points to claim the win heading into singles play, ACU turned to the No. 6 ranked singles player in the nation, Hans Hach. Hach defeated Patterson at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 6-2 to push the Wildcats one point away from the victory.
The Wildcats finished the match at No. 3 singles when Nick Plum won 6-4, 6-1 over Rafael Bugiga giving the top ranked team a 5-0 win.
The loss brings an end to a historic season for the Bearcats that saw head coach Mark Rosewell claim his 900th career win March 31 in Tulsa, Okla., a 5-0 win over Dallas Baptist.
It also marks the end of a stellar career for the Bearcats’ lone senior Calvin Patterson. Patterson finishes his career at Northwest with the second most singles wins in program history at 82-20 and fifth most career wins in doubles at 59-23.
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