MARYVILLE, Mo. -- For the first time since 2007 Northwest Missouri State returns to the Round of 16 after a 5-1 win against Washburn Saturday in the NCAA Central Region match.

The Bearcats –- making their eighth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance –- improved to 20-3 on the season. The 20-wins mark the sixth time Northwest has won 20-matches in a season –- the school record of 22 was set in 2010.

Northwest started the day off with an 8-4 win by LluisAltimires and Sergio De Vilchez at No. 1 doubles.

The Bearcats would also pick up a huge tie break win at No. 3 doubles from Rafael Bugiga and Dylan Bernatzky in a match that saw the Bearcats earn 4 straight tie break points to secure the win 8-4.

Northwest saw a second doubles match go into a tiebreak at No. 2 doubles with Alvaro Riveros and Guilherme Narducci. Riveros had a spectacular hit between his legs to extend the Bearcat lead to 5-4 but it wouldn’t be enough as the No. 2 doubles pair dropped just their second match all season.

At the end of doubles play Northwest had an early 2-1 lead over the Ichabods.

Needing just three more wins heading into singles action the Bearcats made quick work of Washburn.

Riveros had a very impressive first set, winning 6-0 at No. 4 singles. In the second set he started right where he left off jumping out to a 2-0 lead. He would surrender a point but closed out the match with four straight points winning the second set 6-1 and the match.

Riveros increased his singles recorded to 19-2. He is currently on a 13-match win streak.

The Bearcats were able to ride the momentum from early on and secured the final two wins needed from No. 2 and No. 3 singles. Rafael Bugiga knocked off Thilo Schlenker at the No. 2 position 6-0, 6-1, while Altimires won at No. 3 singles, 6-3, 6-1.

Northwest will take on the winner of the East 1 Regional that will conclude Monday. Queens (N.Y.) and District of Columbia will battle in the regional semifinal Sunday as the winner advances to take on Concordia (N.Y.).

The winner of the East 1 Region and the Bearcats will meet in Surprise, Ariz. May 8 in the Round of 16. It is the fifth time the Bearcats have advanced to the Round of 16. Northwest has never faced any of the three teams that could advance from the East Region.

Regional Schedule/Results