May 15, 2010

TOWSON, MD - In the program's third straight appearance at the Division III Men's Tennis Championships, the no. 27 ITA nationally ranked Vassar College lost a competitive match 5-2 to no. 11 NC Wesleyan at the Goucher College tennis courts.

The Brewers and Battling Bishops each earned first round byes and thus met in the second round of the Division III Tennis Championships. The Bishops (17-1) will face section host and no. 10 ranked Johns Hopkins University (21-5)

The Brewers took control of the match early with two decisive wins in doubles. The brother duo of Ben Guzick and Andrew Guzick rolled through NC Wesleyan's Ramon Pardo-Garcia Anton Filanov 8-4 at no. 1 doubles. At the no. 3 position, Mike Mattelson and Josh Jasso knocked off Calyton Sonn and Alexy Rumyantsev of NC Wesleyan 8-5. Marcelo Prata and Artisiom Prostak of NC Wesleyan rallied for a 9-7 win over Vassar's Greg Katz Max Willner at the no. 2 spot for the Bishops' single doubles point.

"We came out fired up in doubles and everyone looked good," said head Coach Ki Kroll, "That's how we draw it up, we almost took 3 doubles and we put ourselves in a good position."

After leading 2-1 after doubles, NC Wesleyan won four singles matches to pick up the win, clinching at the no. 6 position with Pardo-Garcia's win over Vassar's Jeremy Arthur 7-5, 6-4.

"He kept it close and stuck to his guns but the other guy caught a few breaks at the end," said Kroll. "At this level, you have to take advantage of every chance you get and we missed out on a few opportunities."

Vassar's no. 1 Mattleson and no. 3 Andrew Guzick split sets and were leading when play ended.

"I felt good about those two matches," said Kroll, "They were both up a break in the third and seemed to be dictating play."

The Brewers (14-4) end the program's best season ever shy of their first Division III Championships victory but Kroll noted,

"I'm proud of everybody and we've really matured as a team. We fought well and this is by far the best tournament we've had."

The season is not yet over for Mattelson, who was one of 32 singles players selected to play in the NCAA Division III Championships at Oberlin College from May 28-30. The individual championships consists of 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams. The selection of teams and individuals for the championships is based on won-lost record, strength of schedule and eligibility and availability of student-athletes.

The brother combination of Andrew and Ben Guzick were selected as alternates into the doubles competition, but need a withdrawl from one of the 16 teams to enter the championships.