Shaw Men's Tennis Advances to NCAA National Tournament
RALEIGH, N.C. - Shaw University men's tennis came back from a 3-0 deficit to down Bloomsburg 5-4 and claim a spot in the Division II NCAA National Tournament.
The Bears (27-2) dropped all three doubles matches to the Huskies (16-5) and could not afford to lose more than one of the singles matches in the best-of-nine format match.
Charles Silva - at number three singles - was the first to report ... with a win over the Huskies' Lee Wexler 6-1, 6-2. Not long after, Shaw's Daniel Vasquez turned in a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Jeff Nuhfer in the number four singles slot.
Shaw's Gabriel Nicotra tied the match with a 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Mark Schroeder at number two. With the score tied at three, the three remaining matches all went into a third set.
Bloomsburg's Mike DiSanto downed Shaw's Andre Monti 6-1, 6-7, and 7-3 in the tiebreaker in the number six slot.
Shaw could not lose another match if they wanted to advance to tennis' version of the Sweet Sixteen.
Artur Latypov, Shaw's number one, had won his first set easily at 6-1, but lost the second set to Ricky Dove just as spectacularly 6-1. With fans now watching both the number one and number five matches intently, Latypov bounced back and claimed the third set 6-3 to tie the match at four apiece.
That left fifth singles Juan Sanchez of Shaw versus Tyler Pultro of Bloomsburg to decide this section of the Atlantic Regionals. Pultro had taken the first set 6-3, but Sanchez had rebounded with a 6-4 decision in the second.
After holding a 3-0 lead early in the third set, Sanchez allowed Pultro back in the set. Tied at 5-5, Sanchez held serve to go up 6-5 and then broke Pultro's serve to take the set and match with a 7-5 score.
Shaw now advances to the NCAA National Tournament May 16-19 in Louisville, Ky. This is the second straight season the Bears have made it out of regional play.