Feb. 24, 2013
No. 25 Bearcats knock-off No. 17 Drury
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – For the second time in two years the Northwest Missouri State men’s tennis team traveled south and handed national power Drury University its first loss of the season with a 5-4 victory Sunday at the Cooper Indoor Tennis Complex.
The Bearcats, who dropped a heartbreaker against regional foe Ouachita Baptist Saturday, rebounded with a huge early season victory. The win moves the Bearcats record to 2-1 on the young season and gives the Panthers their first loss at 5-1.
Northwest looked in trouble early as the Panthers raced out to an early 2-1 lead in doubles play. Alvaro Riveros and Dylan Bernatzky picked up the lone win for the Bearcats with an 8-2 win at No. 3 doubles over Dmitri Lebedyev and Jorge Nadal.
However, the Bearcats took over in singles play as 38th-ranked Sergio De Vilchez defeated 30th-ranked Andy Blair in three sets, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6. Blair was the defending ITA Midwest Regional singles champion, as De Vilchez had fallen in the Central Region finals last fall.
Still needing three more wins the Bearcats No. 4 and No. 5 positions helped move the match closer to a Northwest victory. Riveros claimed a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 4 singles as Guilherme Narducci was a 6-2, 7-5 winner at No. 5 singles.
Sophomore Jason Harris would be the deciding point for the Bearcats as Harris fought for a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Jorge Nadal at the No. 6 position. Harris sealed the 5-4 win for Northwest which was the second win over Drury in the last two seasons.
The win also gives the Bearcats back-to-back wins over the Panthers for the first time since the 1996-97 seasons.
Northwest returns to the court Friday when the Bearcats host Southeastern Oklahoma in their home opener at Frank Grube Courts. The match with the Savage Storm starts a three-game home swing as the Bearcats entertain Missouri-St. Louis Saturday and Missouri Valley March 6.
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