Indianapolis makes program history with its first NCAA tournament victory
GREENWOOD, Ind. -- Indianapolis history was made Saturday as the Greyhounds took downMissouri-St. Louis 5-3 in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Regional, marking the first NCAA tournament win for the program.
"It's incredible, that was my motivation to win this match and make history for this school," said sophomore Luke Hubert, a two-time team most outstanding player. "It's a huge honor."
Making their eighth all-time appearance in the NCAAs, the Hounds (16-3) got a milestone win against the Tritons (11-8) in windy conditions at Center Grove High School.
A pivotal No. 2 doubles win gave UIndy an early 2-1 edge heading into singles action.
With the match tied 1-1, Fausto Cordova and Marco Torres won a thrilling bout against UMSL's Harry Heyburn and Tim McLarty 9-8 (8-6). The back-and-forth match lasted well past the others on the surrounding courts, and when the Greyhounds clinched their game-winning point in the tiebreak it was to boisterous applause from fans and teammates alike.
Prior to the victory, Hubert and Fernando Taricano had taken care of business in No. 3 doubles. The duo quickly dropped Gabriel Oliveira and Irving Corrales 8-5 to score the first point of the match. It was their team-best 14th win of the season.
UMSL got on the board when Nils Mueggenberg and Tim Gorter handed Nico Kastunowicz and Ryan Frankel a 9-7 loss on court No. 1.
The Tritons quickly tied the match -- even gaining a brief lead -- once singles play commenced.
Following their exciting doubles win, Cordova and Torres each lost in their respective singles matches. Cordova fell to UMSL's McLarty 6-2, 6-2 in No. 3, and Torres dropped a 6-4, 7-5 decision against Oliveira.
Down 3-2, Taricano evened the score with a 6-3, 6-2 straight-set victory against Dario Vidaure in No. 6, winning his 10th consecutive match.
With three matches still in play -- Nos. 1, 2 and 5 -- it came down to a best-of-three to survive the first round.
The Greyhounds got a crucial point from Hubert in the No. 5 draw, despite his dropping the first set.
"I knew that I couldn't give up," said Hubert, who ended up defeating Corrales 3-6, 6-0, 6-3. "There was too much at risk to even contemplate not giving it my all. It just took some time getting used to the wind and the conditions, but once I did I was able to execute the game plan."
Hubert improved to 18-0 in singles this spring, and 25-4 overall for 2013-14.
It was Kastunowicz that clinched the match, advancing the Greyhounds into the second round. The UIndy newcomer won a hard-fought three-setter against Nils Mueggenberg, the ninth-ranked singles player in the region. Kastunowicz, ranked seventh, won 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), besting Mueggenberg in the tiebreak.
"As a freshman it's incredible how composed he is," Hubert said of his teammate. "You always have confidence he'll pull it out, and that's what you want to see in your number one singles guy."
The Greyhounds face Northwood (18-3, 10-1 GLIAC) in the second round on Sunday with a shot at advancing to the round of 16 in Altamonte Springs, Fla.