Story Courtesy of Western Michigan University Athletic Media Relations
STILLWATER, O.K. (May 13) -- Western Michigan saw its 2006 campaign come to a close with a 4-0 loss to 16th-ranked Florida in a NCAA Tournament First Round match hosted by Oklahoma State at the Jack DeBois Tennis Complex.
WMU dropped the doubles point by a narrow margin, losing a tie-breaker at the No. 3 position. Jose Orozco and Alex Birchmeier posted an 8-6 victory over Chris Brandi and Greg Ouellette in No. 2 doubles to tie the match in the early going.
"I think doubles really hurt us. We had two match points to get that first point, and I think we would have come out much looser in singles," said coach Dave Morin. "You look at their rankings having four guys ranked in the top 100 in singles so they are clearly stronger in singles. I really thought we were going to have to win that doubles' point to have a good shot at winning the match and extending the match."
Florida (16-7) posted straight set victories at No. 2, No. 5 and No. 1 singles to earn the dual match victory. Vladimir Obradovic recorded match point in the top singles flight.
The Broncos (25-5) were gaining ground prior to the match ending, as Orozco had evened his second set match at 3-3, while Jeff French held a 2-1 edge in his second set at No. 6 singles.
"They have a very good team," said Morin of Florida. "We are disappointed with the loss but we had a great year. We set a school record with 25 wins to five losses. We will take this as a learning experience and try to return next year and advance in the tournament."
The future looks bright for WMU, which returns five of seven players who competed in the tournament. Senior Jose Orozco finishes his career as the school's third all-time leading wins leader (208) while fellow senior Jeff French closes out as a member of the 100-wins club.
No. 1 -- Vladimir Obradovic (UF) d. Tim Bradshaw (WMU), 6-2, 6-3
No. 2 -- Greg Ouellette (UF) d. Brady Crosby (WMU), 6-1 6-2
No. 3 -- Nestor Briceno (UF) vs. Jose Orozco (WMU), 6-3, 3-3 (DNF)
No. 4 -- Janne Holmia (UF) vs. Kevin Hayward (WMU), 6-3, 4-3 (DNF)
No. 5 -- Chris Brandi (UF) d. Alex Birchmeier (WMU), 6-0, 6-3
No. 6 -- Ryan Sherry (UF) vs. Jeff French (WMU), 6-3, 1-2 (DNF)
No. 1 -- Obradovic/Holmia (UF) d. Crosby/Bryan Norville (WMU), 8-6
No. 2 -- Orozco/Birchmeier (WMU) d. Brandi/Ouellette (UF), 8-6
No. 3 -- Briceno/Stefan Tell (UF) d. French/Bradshaw (WMU), 9-8 (2)