LAKELAND, Fla. -- Marco Mokrzycki and Fabian Groetsch had four words for the Barry University community during their ride back to Miami Shores Sunday. Problem was, they were speaking in their native German language:
"Auf geht es Bucs."
Translated in English: "Go Bucs."
Seeded fourth, Groetsch and Mokrzycki won the ITA South Region Championship doubles title Sunday, beating West Florida's third-seeded Kevin Ducros and Tony Rajaobelina, 6-2, 6-2 in the final.
"We accomplished something really good for Barry and Barry history," Groetsch said as he and his fellow German partner made the trek back home with assistant coach Thomas Hipp, also a German native. "We played good tennis, and we are confident, and we can enjoy the win."
A pair of All-Americans in 2012, Mokrzycki and Groetsch went 4-0 over the three-day event to win the pairs championship. The Buccaneers tandem knocked off the No. 1-seeded duo of Lynn's Vlad Cirla and Willi Wolfer, 9-8 (11-9).
"The semifinals was really, really close," Hipp said. "It could've gone either way. Today, they played extremely well, and really put together their best match of the tournament. They returned really well, and Fabi's serve was really good."
Groetsch's serve was never broken during the championship match.
"I think it's a good start for us in the right direction, especially in the fall," Buccaneers head coach George Samuel said. "Not just with Marco and Fabi, but with all the guys who were at the Florida Gulf Coast tournament. We're getting results right in the beginning. I'm happy to see that, with just the little bit of practice we had to prepare. They pushed themselves physically. It paid off some going into this competition.
"I think they're all seeing what it takes day after day after day. Everybody was up for it, and ready to go out and give it their best. I'm impressed. The level was a good level at every single match we played. Win or lose, we were ready to bounce back every single day. Everybody was up for the challenge. The results and the effort and the chemistry of the guys ... I think it's a sign of a lot of good things to come."
Groetsch, a Nuremberg, Germany native who advanced to the quarterfinals of the singles draw, went 15-8 in doubles last spring. Last spring, he and Mokrzycki, a senior from Hannover, Germany, compiled a 3-0 record together at No. 1 doubles.
"First of all, for me, I had a very good summer in Germany," Groetsch said. "I was confident when I arrived here at Barry. We had good chances to play successfully at this tournament. If you have your best game in the final, that's always a good thing."
Mokrzycki, who advanced to the semifinals of the singles portion of the tournament, had a 21-6 doubles mark in the spring.
"We played well together last year," Mokrzycki said, hinting that having another German partner has its advantages. "Sometimes, you just connect. The communication ... you just react a second earlier. Sometimes it just works out.
"It's always exciting to play well. Every year, it's a different challenge to get ready for the season. It's just exciting you can gain some confidence. Hopefully we can achieve something big."
NET NOTES: At the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational in Fort Myers, FGCU's Tianyu Bao and Lance Lvovsky beat Barry's Leo Vivas and Eduardo Alfonzo, 8-4, in the doubles championship. Vivas and Alfonzo went 3-1 in the tournament.