Men's Tennis Wins SSC Crown in Thrilling Fashion

Men's Tennis Wins SSC Crown in Thrilling Fashion
Sophomore Max Wimmer clinches the title with a three-set win. Photo by Joel Auerbach.

LAKELAND, Fla.— After losing 7-2 to Lynn Fighting Knights less than 20 days ago, the Barry men’s tennis team avenged the loss in a 5-4 thriller to clinch their third straight SSC Championship on Saturday.

The Buccaneers dropped two out the three doubles matches to start the day in a hole, but then won four of six singles matches to take the Championship.

“It was really an exciting match," head coach Dr. George Samuel said. “It was not an easy win nor is it ever against this team [Lynn]. The last two days here the guys have just played better. I don’t know what got into them. We were really fired up today and there was a tremendous amount of support from everyone on the team today. There was a great atmosphere out here as our guys starting becoming more vocal as the day went on. It was also great to see Ales (Svigelj) playing so well. When he got going, he was unstoppable.“

The day’s play was highlighted by senior Svigelj. After a lack luster year, #36 Svigelj, not a second too late, returned to top form with a doubles win at the top doubles spot and a dominating 6-3, 6-2 singles win over #26 Tomas Racak at position number two.

“I was just paying aggressive, and I was really confident today,” Svigelj said. “I feel like I’m playing the best tennis I’ve played in a long time, probably since I advanced to the ITA Nationals in 2008. I feel amazing about my game going into Regionals. I am very excited about the possibilities ahead of the team.”

The first match to end in doubles was the number two doubles of Sergio Velez and Emanuel Fraitzl. The Buccaneer pair lost to the #10 team of Alex Voirin and Luca Pavanelli 8-3.

Svigelj and partner Max Wimmer finished next in doubles and took an impressive 8-5 win over the #3 team of Alessandro Sarra and Willi Wolfer.

Barry fell behind the 2-1 in the match after the senior/freshman pair of Andrew Sharnov and Marco Mokrzycki fell 8-6 to Tomas Racak and George Laffey, after leading in the match 4-0.

The Buccaneers (19-4) rattled off the first three singles matches to take a 4-2 lead over the Fighting Knights (17-4). After doubles, Sharnov quickly tied the match with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Voirin, to even the score at 2-2. Then Svigelj gave the Buccaneers their first lead of the day at 3-2 on his 6-3, 6-2 win over Racak. Finishing next for the Buccaneers, and completing the trifecta of singles wins as Velez who defeated Laffey 6-3, 7-5 at the number six position and gave the Buccaneers a 4-2 tilt with two matches left.

After Velez, #30 Fraitzl just needed to win the third set to capture a Buccaneer victory. The first set of the Fraitzl/#38 Wolfer match resulted in a 6-1 Barry win. Then Wolfer answered with a 6-1 win for Lynn. In the third and final set, with his team facing defeat, Wolfer took a 7-5 win to extend the match and make it a 4-3 game.

The second chance for the Bucs to take the SSC title came at the top of the lineup from Mokrzycki. Freshman Mokrzycki, ranked 13th, was faced with the challenge of matching up against #12 Sarra. Sarra took the first set 6-4 but the freshman stormed back with a 6-1 win to extend the match to a third set. However, Sarra handed Mokrzycki a 6-4 third-set loss and tied the overall match at 4-4.

The deciding match came down to sophomore Wimmer at number four singles. The last time these two teams took the court on March 31, Wimmer suffered a 6-4, 6-2 loss to Wolfer. This time, Wimmer, playing at number four singles matched up against #32 Pavanelli. Wimmer lost the first set 6-7 but took a 6-3 win in set number two to force a third set. Barry teammates and fans stormed the court after Wimmer sent the Knights back to Boca with their heads down on a 6-1 win in the third set to capture the SSC Championship.

The waiting game is next for the Bucs, as they wait to see who will receive the South Region hosting bids. Possible sites for the Regionals are Valdosta, Ga., Arkadelphia, Ark., Boca Raton, Fla. or even possibly at home in Miami Shores, Fla.

The Regional is set for May 6-8.

Tennis Match Results
Barry vs Lynn
04/17/10 at Lakeland, Fla.
(Beerman Tennis Facility)

#5 Barry 5, #3 Lynn 4

Singles competition
1. #12 Alessandro Sarra (LUM) def. #13 Marco Mokrzycki (BUM) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
2. #36 Ales Svigelj (BUM) def. #26 Tomas Racak (LUM) 6-3, 6-2
3. #38 Willi Wolfer (LUM) def. #30 Emanuel Fraitzl (BUM) 1-6, 6-1, 7-5
4. Max Wimmer (BUM) def. #32 Luca Pavanelli (LUM) 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 6-1
5. Andrew Sharnov (BUM) def. Alex Voirin (LUM) 6-2, 6-2
6. Sergio Velez (BUM) def. George Laffey (LUM) 6-3, 7-5

Doubles competition
1. Ales Svigelj/Max Wimmer (BUM) def. #3 Alessandro Sarra/Willi Wolfer (LUM) 8-5
2. #10 Alex Voirin/Luca Pavanelli (LUM) def. Sergio Velez/Emanuel Fraitzl (BUM) 8-3
3. Tomas Racak/George Laffey (LUM) def. Andrew Sharnov/Marco Mokrzycki (BUM) 8-6

Match Notes:
Barry 19-4; National ranking #5
Lynn 17-4; National ranking #3
Championship - Sunshine State Conference Tournament
Match order - Doubles: 2,1,3; Singles: 5,2,6,3,1,4 (Max Wimmer wins clincher)
Barry wins 5-4 for third straight SSC men's championship