April 25, 2013
Northwest set to host regionals
By David Boyce
All the cold, snow and rain the Northwest Missouri State men’s tennis team has had to deal with this spring, the Bearcats deserve to play to play in sunny Surprise, Ariz.
Even after dominating their way to their fourth straight MIAA title on Sunday, the Bearcats saw a few flakes of snow Tuesday afternoon.
Obviously, that is not the ideal weather to get ready for the most important tennis match of the season.
“We had to play indoors a lot this spring,” Northwest coach Mark Rosewell said. “We spent a lot of time indoors because we had no other choices. Even at conference, the first day we played indoors. That is tough, going back and forth.”
Hopefully, the Bearcats will be back outside on Saturday. In order for Northwest to reach a hotter sun in Surprise, the Bearcats must beat Washburn in the NCAA Division II Central Regional. The matches begin at 10 a.m. at Frank Grube Courts.
If the forecast is accurate, the Bearcats will take on the Ichabods in sunny, mid 50s weather. Rosewell hopes the nice weather plus the potential of advancing to the NCAA Division II Championships May 8-11 will bring out a big crowd to cheer on his team.
“Home court is everything,” Rosewell said. “It is like basketball or anything else. You have home field advantage; you try to get a lot of people out there.”
Northwest, though, has dominated everywhere it has played. The Bearcats carry an impressive 19-3 record into their regional match against Washburn and that includes a 5-2 victory over the Ichabods.
Since losing back-to-back matches on March 23 and March 24 against Midwestern State and Cameron, the Bearcats have won 12 straight.
Rosewell said all seven of their singles players are playing well. For further proof, just look at what the No. 4 singles and No. 6 singles are doing. Freshman Alvaro Rivos won his 12th straight match at the MIAA tournament at No. 4 singles and sophomore Jason Harris won his 11th straight match at No. 6 singles.
The impressive part about Northwest is it only has two seniors. The No. 1 singles player is freshman Sergio De Vilchez.
“We really played well at the MIAA Tournament, particularly against Southwest Baptist in the championship,” Rosewell said. “We lost No. 1 doubles and won everything else. We were winning the other three matches. We were up a set in two of three. It would have been 8-1 or 7-2. They are a good team.
“I am proud of that. All the pressure is on when you are trying to win a tournament. With Washburn and Southwest Baptist in it, we do have a good league.”
Through the years, Rosewell has fielded some really good teams. Each of the last four conference titles has been special with some special players.
But when this team arrived on campus last fall, Rosewell sensed that he was in for a fun ride.
“I’ve been coaching for 33 years,” Rosewell said. “Hard working and personality wise, this may be the best team I have ever had. I don’t want the season to end. It has been so much fun and that is with the women’s team, too.”
If the Bearcats keep playing the way they have the last month, Rosewell will be coaching them for a few more weeks.
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