MAC Men's Tennis Day Two Results:
No. 4 Ball State 4, No. 1 Western Michigan 3
No. 2 Toledo 4, No. 3 Buffalo 3
Men's Tennis VIDEO - No. 1 Doubles Action - Western Michigan vs. Ball State
Men's Tennis VIDEO - Ball State defeats Western Michigan
Men's Tennis VIDEO - Ball State Tennis Coach Bill Richards
No. 4 Ball State 4, No. 1 Western Michigan, 3
Story courtesy of Ball State Sports Information
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - - The fourth-seeded Ball State men's tennis team stunned Mid-American Conference regular season champion and top-seeded Western Michigan Friday afternoon, with a thrilling 4-3 victory in the quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament Championships at WMU's Sorenson Courts at the Western Hills Athletic Club.
"Today was an example of finding a way to win four points," said Ball State head coach Bill Richards. "This was a four-and-a-half hour battle that could have went either way, and we were fortunate to get thought it with a win. There is no time to celebrate, however, as we have to get ready for a tough match tomorrow. That is all were are focusing on now."
Ball State returns to the MAC Tournament Championship match for the first time since the 2008 season and is looking for its first tournament title since 2005 when it won at WMU's Sorenson Courts. The Cardinals will face the winner of No. 2 Toledo versus No. 3 Buffalo at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Sorenson Courts.
After losing 7-0 to the Broncos in a match played in the Muncie YMCA Tennis Center April 16, the Cardinals thrived on the outdoor surface at the Western Hills Athletic Club, pulling out to an early 1-0 advantage by earning the doubles point.
While WMU took an early lead in the battle for the doubles point, scoring an 8-4 victory in the No. 1 slot, the Cardinals answered with the tandem of senior Shaun Bussert (Decatur, Ga./Decatur H.S.) and sophomore Austin Sansone (Columbus, Ind./North H.S.) posting an 8-5 win over Thomas Calderone and Zeyan Montasser in the No. 3 position.
Juniors Derek Carpenter (Fort Wayne, Ind./Southside H.S.) and Zane Smith (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.) followed by capturing the No. 2 doubles contest by a score of 8-6 over Casey Cullen and Pablo Olivarez to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead in the overall match.
The Broncos opened singles play with wins at No. 2 and No. 4 to take a brief 2-1 advantage in the contest. However, Sansone would answer with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over WMU's Brad Noel in the No. 6 slot to even the match at two points apiece.
Western Michigan would break through again in the No. 1 position, as Michael Calderone won tiebreakers in both the first and second sets to earn a hard-fought 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2) victory over BSU sophomore Dalton Albertin (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central H.S.) to bring WMU within one point of winning the match.
After opening his No. 5 battle with a 6-2 setback in the first set, Ball State's Andres Monroy (Mexico, City, Mexico) rallied to win the final two sets by scores of 7-5 and 6-4 to earn a win over WMU's Cullen and tie the quarterfinal match once again at 3-3.
In the final singles match, BSU junior Cliff Morrison (South Africa/Eden College) and WMU's Simon Blomberg traded victories in the first two sets of their No. 3 bout, with Morris winning the opener 6-4 and Blomberg taking the second 7-5. Morrison would then secure Ball State's upset of the top-seeded Broncos with a 6-4 decision in the final set.
Ball State University 4, Western Michigan 3
1. Michael Calderone (WMU) def. Dalton Albertin (BSU) 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2)
2. Kazuya Komada (WMU) def. Zane Smith (BSU) 6-1, 6-0
3. Cliff Morrison (BSU) def. Simon Blomberg (WMU) 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
4. Pablo Olivarez (WMU) def. Alexandre Brym (BSU) 6-4, 6-4
5. Andres Monroy (BSU) def. Casey Cullen (WMU) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
6. Austin Sansone (BSU) def. Brad Noel (WMU) 6-4, 6-2
1. Michael Calderone/Kazuya Komada (WMU) def. Dalton Albertin/Cliff Morrison (BSU) 8-4
2. Derek Carpenter/Zane Smith (BSU) def. Casey Cullen/Pablo Olivarez (WMU) 8-6
3. Shaun Bussert/Austin Sansone (BSU) def. Thomas Calderone/Zeyad Montasser (WMU) 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,4,6,1,5,3)
No. 2 Toledo 4, No. 3 Buffalo 3
KALAMAZOO, MI - The University of Toledo men's tennis team dug themselves out of an early hole to earn a 4-3 win over Buffalo in the MAC Tournament semifinals on Friday. The comeback win advances the Rockets to the championship match on Saturday, where they will challenge No. 4 Ball State for the tournament crown.
"I'm not sure where to start," said Head Coach Al Wermer. "How about an old quote from Woody Hayes: 'You win with people.' This group continues to find a way to survive and battle its way out of the corners against any odds."
The Rockets (24-9) gained a quick 1-0 lead in the match with wins in the first two finished doubles contests. The senior duo of Aleksandar Elezovic and Sven Burus picked up an 8-7 (7-1) tiebreak victory in the top draw, while Nutthavit Likitkumchorn and Leo Sarria sealed the doubles point with an 8-5 win at No. 2.
In singles however, the Rockets fell behind early as Buffalo won three points, defeating Terence Weigand at No. 6, Mircea Dimofte at No. 3 and Gursher Harika at No. 4. Needing wins in the remaining three active matches, the Rockets did just that. Likitkumchorn picked up career victory number 200 with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 win in the second slot, followed shortly by a 6-4, 6-4 win in the top draw by Elezovic.
But it was sophomore Bryant Dudzik who would prove the hero of the day, holding on in three sets to win 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in the fifth slot to send the Rockets into the championship match.
"After doubles, we pulled Sven (stomach flu), and Leo (lower body injury)," Wermer said. "So that provided a challenge in itself. Then, the first three singles to finish, we lost in straight sets, so we got in a deep hole 3-1. But a couple hours later, Dudzy clinched and it was over. Another full team effort, as we expect.
"We had a great group of fans supporting us here today. We'll be excited about our opportunity tomorrow"
On Saturday the No. 2 Rockets will meet No. 4 Ball State, who took down the regular season champion and No. 1-seeded Western Michigan Broncos on Friday. When the two teams met earlier this season, Toledo picked up its first win over the Cardinals since 1977 with a 4-3 decision.
The Rockets are seeking their first MAC Championship since 1973 as they advance to the title match for the second time in the last three seasons. Saturday's championship match is slated to begin at 1 p.m. in Kalamazoo.
Tennis Match Results
Apr 29, 2011 at Kalamazoo, Mich.
Toledo 4, Buffalo 3
1. Aleksandar Elezovic/Sven Burus (UT) def. Mitch Zenaty/Wojcich Starakiewicz (BUF) 8-7 (7-1)
2. N. Likitkumchom/Leo Sarria (UT) def. Marcelo Mazzetto/Travis Zappia (BUF) 8-5
3. Mircea Dimofte/Bryant Dudzik (UT) vs. George Tibil/Vusa Hove (BUF) 7-6 (unfinished)
1. Aleksandar Elezovic (UT) def. Wojcich Starakiewicz (BUF) 6-4, 6-4
2. N. Likitkumchom (UT) def. Vusa Hove (BUF) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
3. George Tibil (BUF) def. Mircea Dimofte (UT) 6-1, 6-4
4. Marcelo Mazzetto (BUF) def. Gursher Harika (UT) 6-0, 6-4
5. Bryant Dudzik (UT) def. Jason Simon (BUF) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4
6. Alex Kalinin (BUF) def. Terence Weigand (UT) 6-2, 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (6,3,4,2,1,5)