ORLANDO, Fla. -- The third-ranked and fourth-seeded men's tennis team rallied from an early deficit to beat the fourth-ranked and second-seeded Columbus State Cougars 4-2 to capture the 2023 NCAA Division II championship at the USTA National Campus on Monday night.
Barry has now won seven overall men's tennis championships, with the last four straight titles. The Bucs and Cougars have contested four of the last five NCAA championships, with Barry winning three of the four matchups.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP
Final: #3 Barry 4, #4 Columbus State 2
Records: Barry 25-5, Columbus State 21-5
Series: Series tied 1-1
- #42 Santiago Perez/Tommaso Schold (CSU) vs #10 Alejandro Ibañez Gallego/Arnau Rodriguez (BARRY), 5-3 unfinished
- #32 Javier Cueto Ramps/Pierto Martinetti (CSU) def. Alelandro Palacios/Alessandro Giuliato (BARRY), 6-3
- Andrea Sandrone/Felix Steen (CSU) def. David Rieme/Tim Büttner, 6-2
- #32 Alejandro Ibañez Gallego (BARRY) vs #1 Santiago Perez (CSU), 3-6, 6-3, 4-4 unfinished
- #27 Alejandro Palacios (BARRY) def. #33 Javier Cueto Ramos, 1-6, 7-5, 6-2
- #56 Alessandro Giuliato (BARRY) def. Tommaso Schold (CSU), 7-5, 6-3
- Arnau Rodriguez (BARRY) def. Pietro Martinetti (CSU), 7-5, 7-5
- Armin Trklja (CSU) def. David Rieme (BARRY), 6-3, 6-0
- Tim Büttner (BARRY) def. Andrea Sandrone (CSU), 6-2, 6-4
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Cougars quickly dispatched the Bucs in doubles, winning at the second and third flights. Sandrone and Steen knocked off Büttner and Rieme 6-2 at number three. Cueto Ramos and Martinetti made almost equally short work of Palacios and Giuliato at number three, 6-3. But confidence remained high for the Bucs, as they had rallied back after losing the doubles point in four prior matches this season. But singles did not start well, as Rieme quickly succumbed to Trklja 6-3, 6-0 at number five to give CSU a 2-0 lead. Büttner put the Bucs on the board with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Sandrone at number six. But Barry dropped first sets at number one and number two and trailed 5-4 in the first at the other two flights. But first Rodriguez and then Giuliato rallied for 7-5 wins in their first sets and Ibañez Gallego and Palacios both came back to split sets. Guilato then made quick work of Schold at number three, winning the second set 6-3 to even the match at 2-2. Rodriguez once again rallied from 5-4 down in the second set to come back for another 7-5 win that put Barry up 3-2. For the second time in three years, Palacios clinched the championship with third-set heroics. After dropping the first set to Cueto Ramos 1-6, he stormed back for a 7-5, 6-2 win that secured the championship for the Bucs. The remaining matches went unfinished.
- The Bucs won their seventh men's tennis national championship and fourth in a row (2010, 2013, 2015, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023).
- For Barry's overall athletic program, it is their 27th national championship and 22nd since 2004.
- Barry moved into a tie for second with their seventh title, matching SIU-Edwardsville for the second most. Lander, with eight titles, all coming in a row, has the most.
- The match marked the fourth time in five championships that the Bucs and Cougars have faced off for the title, with Barry winning three.
- The Cougars took the crown in 2018, while Barry prevailed in 2019, 2021 and this year.
- For head coach Thomas Hipp, it is his second straight championship as a head coach. He was also an assistant coach at Barry in 2010 and 2013.
- Ibañez Gallego and Palacios became the first Buccaneers in any sport to win four national championships during their career. Rodriguez and Giuliato joined former teammates Ignasi Forcano and Martin Gutierrez, as well as women's players Verena Schmid, Zusa Maciejewska, Jil Engelmann, and Julie Razafindranaly with three titles.