May 12, 2010

Courtesy of Rollins

The 19-ranked Abilene Christian men's tennis team upset sixth-ranked Hawaii Pacific 5-4, Wednesday evening in the Round of 16 at the Men's Tennis 2010 National Championships from the Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

The Wildcats took a 3-0 doubles lead on the higher-ranked Warriors, and staved-off a furious comeback to hold on for the one-point win.

The Abilene squad built their 3-0 lead behind the gritty efforts of their doubles' teams. The No. 1 team of Luke Hawk and Bryan Joiner upended Bader and McLusky, 8-4. It was followed by solid efforts from the duo of Edad Campbell and John Strahl as they took down the Hawaii-Pacific pair of Luedi and Samuilau, 8-5. Adding to the nearly five hour match was the tiebreaking win from Wildcats' duo Brett Proctor and Alfredo Desiati. After exchanging points for nearly the entire contest, the two teams stood at eight points apiece, forcing an exciting tiebreaker. In the extra session, each side had an opportunity at posting the win. However, it was the resilient Abilene duo which eventually built and held onto an 8-6 tiebreaker win.

The victories put the Warriors on their heels. Still, the Warriors remained tough and eventually tied the match on three-straight singles victories. No. 6 singles Anton Samuilau provided the first point for the Warriors with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Proctor, while Sebastian Bader put down Joiner in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. Daniel Ludi used a second set tiebreaker to claim Hawaii-Pacific's third win 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) in the No. 3 slot . Abilene's John Strahl regained the lead with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 win at No. 2 doubles, but was equalized moments later by the Warriors McLusky in a three-set thriller, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. With the set tied at four apiece Abilene's Campbell registered the biggest win of the day, outlasting the Pacific's No.1 Petrov 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

The win paves the way for Abilene Christian in to the NCAA Quarterfinals on Thursday, May 13 where they will take on top-ranked Valdosta State at 1:00 p.m.