Posted with permission, article and pictures, courtesy of Hawaii Pacific University
No. 4 Sharks Chomp Vulcans 4-1 in NCAA II West Regional
KAILUA, Hawai’i – The No. 4 Hawai’i Pacific University men took the first step to the NCAA Division II Tennis Championships on Monday with a decisive 4-1 victory over Hawai’i Hilo in the NCAA II West Regional #1 at the Kailua Racquet Club.
The Sharks (17-2), the region’s top seed, took the doubles point in a near sweep from the Vulcans (9-10), the fourth seed and ranked 41st, then claimed the third, fourth and fifth singles positions for the win.
HPU, who shuffled its doubles lineup heading into the championships, first got a win at the No. 3 spot as Benjamin Loccisano and Jan Pleva downed Alession Demichelis and Luca Matheiowiz 6-1. In the race for the second half of the point, the new No. 2 duo of Jordi Walder and Jan Heine defeated Luca Checcia and Joshua Liu 6-3 for the 1-0 lead. Now playing at No. 1, Robin Sanz and Jakub Beran held a 5-2 lead on Martin Soukal and Luke Hamano with a 30-15 lead in the game when doubles halted.
The Vulcans tied the match at 1-1 when 71st ranked Demichelis won at No. 2 singles over Pleva 6-1, 6-3. But it would be the only position where UH Hilo held a lead. Loccisano put HPU up to stay with a powerful win at No. 5 singles against Agustin Gentile 6-2, 6-2, just after Demichelis’ win as HPU led 2-1, as those two matches lasted a couple of minutes under an hour each.
Just 10 minutes later, 29th ranked Sanz won No. 3 singles by ripping Checcia 6-2, 6-1 for the 3-1 lead.
The final point in the match was again another race to the finish, with Beran beating Matheiowetz 6-3, 6-1 at No. 4 to decide the match. On the unfinished No. 1 court, second ranked Walder was ahead of fifth ranked Soukal 6-4, 5-3 with a 15-0 lead in the game when the match was called. The No. 6 spot also was unfinished with HPU’s Ryohei Arai leading Liu 6-3, 2-1.
The Sharks advance to the NCAA’s Division II Sweet 16 at Altamonte Springs, Fla., just outside of Orlando May 18-22. HPU must wait until Wednesday to learn its next opponent following the seeding of the national tournament by the NCAA Division II Tennis Committee.