CARY, N.C. — Following a 5-2 victory against Washington (Mo.) in the semifinal round of the NCAA Division III men’s tennis tournament, Kenyon will play for its first national championship Wednesday. The Lords will meet Emory at 9 a.m. in the title match at Cary Tennis Park.
While the Lords are making their first appearance in the championship round, the Eagles are no strangers to the Division III final. Emory has played for the title in six of the past ten seasons and won the hardware in 2003 and 2006 with runner-up finishes in 2002, 2007, 2008 and 2010.
Kenyon (24-4) previously squared off with the Eagles (24-0) in the national tournament in 2008 and 2009. Emory prevailed, 5-1 and 5-0, in those match-ups, which both came in the quarterfinals.
The Eagles are responsible for half of the Lords’ four losses this season having dealt Kenyon an 8-1 defeat at the ITA national indoor championship on February 25th and a 6-2 setback during spring break play in California. Since the second loss to Emory on March 16th, the Lords have ripped off a 13 match winning streak to enter the rematch with plenty of momentum on their side.
Freshman Tim Rosensteel clinched Tuesday’s clash with Washington (18-7) when he outlasted Parker Chang, 6-3, 7-5, at fifth singles. Scoring the decisive singles victory was a bit of retribution for Rosensteel after he and junior Austin Griffin dropped a 9-8 (7-2) heart-breaker to Adam and Ross Putterman at first doubles.
Junior C.J. Williams contributed a pair of wins to the Kenyon cause. Williams and freshman Michael Razumovsky claimed second doubles 8-4 before he breezed past Ross Putterman, 6-4, 6-1, at third singles.
Thanks to the play of juniors Paul Burgin and Kevin Ye, 8-5 winners in the third doubles flight, the Lords entered singles play with a 2-1 lead. Freshman Wade Heerboth won his eighth consecutive decision with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph at fourth singles to set the stage for Williams and Rosensteel to finish things off.
Emory edged Williams 5-4 in Tuesday’s other semifinal to set the stage for the championship showdown.