May 8, 2010

Courtesy of AASU

SAVANNAH, GA. - The two-time NCAA Division II defending national champion Armstrong Atlantic State men's tennis team advanced to the 2010 NCAA DII Men's Tennis Championships Round of 16 with a 5-0 win over Francis Marion on Saturday morning at Bacon Park.

The No. 2-ranked Pirates (28-1) return to the site of their 2009 national championship at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla., and will begin play on Wednesday, May 12, against Kutztown. No. 13-ranked Francis Marion ends its 2010 season at 12-8.

Armstrong Atlantic jumped out to a 3-0 lead after doubles. Matus Mydla and Daniel Regan rode an early break to an 8-5 win at No. 2 doubles over Dirk Bair and Jack Bishop. Eudaldo Bonet and Paul Fitzgerald won three straight games to claim an 8-6 win at No. 3 doubles over Alex Caspari and Karl Rogers, while the No. 3-ranked duo of Rafael Array and Mikk Irdoja notched an 8-5 win over No. 7-ranked Dilshod Sharifi and Oshada Wijemanne to complete the doubles sweep.

Array put the Pirates up, 4-0, with a quick 6-0, 6-1 win over Bair at No. 4 singles, then the clinching point came at No. 3 singles as No. 38-ranked Mydla knocked off Caspari, 6-0, 6-2.

The Pirates will head to Altamonte Springs with an eye on becoming just one of four schools to earn three consecutive DII men's tennis national championships (UC Irvine, SIU Edwardsville and Lander). AASU has now has advanced to six straight berths in the Round of 16 and over the last three seasons, the Pirates have won 90 of their last 92 matches.