Posted with permission, article and pictures, courtesy of Hawaii Pacific University
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Calif. – The No. 4 Hawai’i Pacific University men had a tough battle but persevered in beating No. 39 Texas-Tyler 4-2 in the round of 16 at the NCAA Division II Tennis Championships at Sanlando Park.
The Sharks (18-2), the second seed in the tournament, took the doubles point against the Patriots (14-9) the 15th seed, then collected three singles points.
HPU took the doubles point by winning the second and third spots. Benjamin Loccisano and Ryohei Arai got on the board first at No. 3 doubles in beating Jorge Sala Frigeri and Jonas Dixon 6-1, with the No. 2 pair of Jordi Walder and Jan Heine downing Joaquin Bianchi and Egor Shestakov 6-4 for the point. The Sharks No. 1 duo of Robin Sanz and Jakub Beran were tied with 45th ranked Gonzalo Fernandez and Moritz Mayer 5-5 when the point was won.
HPU rolled out to a 3-0 lead with quick wins as 29th ranked Sanz took No. 2 singles over 60th ranked Bianchi 6-0, 6-1, followed by Loccisano taking No. 4 against Safar Rasulov 6-3, 6-3.
The Patriots came back as Dixon claimed No. 6 over the Shark Arai 6-3, 6-2, and Mayer winning at No. 3 against Beran 7-5, 6-3 to make it 3-2.
HPU’s second ranked Walder provided the clinching point by taking No. 1 singles over 32nd ranked Fernandez 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 making it 4-2.
The unfinished spot at No. 5 had HPU’s Heine and UT Tyler’s Yudai Watanabe splitting sets at 2-6, 6-4, with Watanabe up 4-2 in the third set.
The Sharks advance to the Elite Eight with the victory to face No. 6 Flagler (Fla.) (19-5), the seventh seed, who defeated 10th seeded Charleston (W.Va.) 4-1. The quarterfinal match is slated for 6 a.m. HST (Noon EDT).