Story courtesy of Western Michigan Sports Information
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Mid-American Conference's final two undefeated teams squared off at West Hills Athletic Club last Friday, with the Western Michigan men's tennis team authoring a statement win by defeating the Toledo Rockets 7-0 to clinch the 2010-11 MAC regular season championship. The Broncos improve to 14-10 overall, and finish their MAC schedule with a perfect 5-0 record.
The win was also an important milestone for head coach Dave Morin, as it represented the 300th win of his career. Morin, who started out his career as coach at Bowling Green, has compiled a record of 258-131 at Western Michigan, with a 300-178 record in his career. He ranks second on Western Michigan's career coaching wins list.
The Broncos' final margin of victory was not indicative of the overall match, as the Rockets had the home team on the ropes early on. Toledo took the first doubles match of the day, but the No. 2 doubles team of Casey Cullen and Pablo Olivarez, as well as the No. 3 doubles pairing of Thomas Calderone and Zeyad Montasser, each won 8-5 in giving the Broncos the doubles point.
Despite having that point in their pocket, the Broncos struggled out of the gate against the Rockets in singles play as well. Michael Calderone started out quickly and took the No. 1 singles match 6-4, 6-0, but Toledo players led on nearly every other court. However, the Broncos seniors righted the ship, with Kazuya Komada, Brad Noel, and Cullen all coming back from 1-4 deficits to take their first sets.
"I think our seniors showed tremendous maturity and resilience," said Morin. "We started out a little slow, but they showed how tough of a group they are and came back."
After Olivarez took the No. 4 singles match 6-1, 6-3, Simon Blomberg wrapped up the No. 3 match with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 win to lock up the win for the Broncos. Komada finished soon after, winning the No. 2 singles match 7-6 (7-2), 6-3. Noel took the No. 6 singles match 6-4, 6-2, and Cullen wrapped up the day with a 6-4, 6-4 win in the No. 5 singles match.