CLAREMONT, Calif. – No. 7 Cal Lutheran defeated No. 16 Redlands in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday afternoon, ending the Bulldogs’ season while living to see another day.

In a win-or-go-home battle, the Kingsmen hung on for the team win against Redlands (16-10), just as they did just a week ago at the SCIAC Championships. 

To get into round two, the Kingsmen had to overcome an early 2-1 deficit to Redlands after doubles play.

Cal Lutheran got a quick point from Nick Ballou and Ray Worley as they combined for an 8-1 victory against Patrick Lipscomb and Mark Bloom at the No. 1 singles spot.

After Redlands evened the score at 1-1 with an 8-3 win at No. 2 doubles, the Bulldogs stole a 9-7 win in a hard fought No. 3 doubles match that pitted UR’s Anish Nanda and Gram Leahy against CLU’s Thomas Millet and Marcelo Sousa.

The Bulldogs upped their lead to 3-1 after winning at No. 6 singles, but Worley gave CLU its second point of the afternoon by easily defeating Bloom 6-1, 6-1 in their second meeting of the day. 

Cal Lutheran rallied back with an equalizing point from its No. 1 man, Ballou, as he went on to beat Lipscomb by 6-3, 6-3 margins.

Millet then put the Violet and Gold on top, 4-3. He defeated Jack Reynolds 6-4 and then 6-2 to lock up the win.

While Nanda, UR’s No. 4 player, was being attended to by the training staff for some cramping, the No. 2 match flowed.

Although, play at the No. 4 court resumed, it was CLU’s Justin Wilson who would earn the clinching point for the Kingsmen. He posted scores of 6-1 and 7-5 against Nick Cummins.   

Connor Treacy was ahead 7-5, 5-1 as Wilson’s match concluded.