Wilkes rallies in singles competition to beat Grove City 5-2 in NCAA first round
GAMBIER, Ohio -- Wilkes recorded its second win all time in the NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championship, beating Grove City College 5-2 on Friday at Kenyon College.
Wilkes improvesd to 16-3 overall, while Grove City has its season end at 8-6. It marks the second win in the NCAA Tournament for the Colonels and first since the 2009-10 season when Wilkes defeated Transylvania 5-2.
After Grove City opened doubles play with an 8-4 win at No. 1, the Wilkes pair of Clarke Freeman and Brendon Blachowskiclaimed an 8-5 victory at No. 3 to tie the match at 1. Grove City finished doubles competition with a hard-fought 9-8 decision at No. 2 to take a 2-1 advantage into singles play.
Wilkes fought back in singles play taking four of the six singles flights that finished. Max Appello began singles play with a quick 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 4, upping his season mark to 24-2. Connor Peckham followed with a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 5 to give the Colonels a 3-2 lead. Blachowski added a 6-3, 6-0 victory at No. 6 before Michael Kranz sealed the win with a 6-4, 6-4 decision at No. 3.
Wilkes now faces No. 14 Case Western Reserve University (21-6) at 10 a.m. ET Saturday in second-round action.