DENVER, Colo. - The No. 2-ranked Armstrong State University men's tennis team earned its fifth straight berth into the NCAA DII National Semifinals with a 5-1 win over No. 33-ranked NYIT on Thursday afternoon at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver, Colo.
The Pirates (26-2) will now meet top-ranked Saint Leo - 5-0 winners over Northwest Missouri State - in one national semifinal match at 1:00 p.m. on Friday at Metro State. Armstrong State advanced to the 2012 and 2013 National Championship matches - winning in 2012 - while making semifinal berths each of the last two seasons. NYIT sees its season come to a close with a 21-4 overall record.
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Armstrong State collected all three doubles matches to take a commanding 3-0 lead heading into singles play. The No. 10-ranked duo of Alberto Caceres Casas and Jan Porteset downed Jorse Gonzales and Matej Selecky, 8-3, at No. 1 doubles, while Luca Cerin and Marek Pesicka downed Rafal Charkiewicz and Rares Ispas, 8-3, at No. 3 doubles. No. 12-ranked Pablo Gor Costales and Ignacio Hernandez completed the doubles sweep with an 8-6 win over Tomas Lieb and Alex Martinez at No. 2 doubles.
The Pirates took four of the six first sets in singles play, and got a quick 6-0, 6-4 win by No. 5-ranked Gor over David Jiang at No. 1 singles. NYIT collected a point next as Selecky upset No. 21-ranked Lucak, 6-1, 6-4, at No. 2 singles, but Casas clinched the match with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Martinez at No. 6 singles to send the Pirates into the semifinals.
The Pirates and the Lions met once this season, with Saint Leo winning 7-2 in February to hand Armstrong State its only loss by a Division II school this year. The National Championship match will take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Metro State's Regency Athletic Complex.