No. 1 Men's Tennis Clipped, 5-4, in Battle vs. No. 5 HPU

Nico Dreer picked up his 11th win of the season in a straights sets victory at No. 4 singles. Photo by Joel Auerbach

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- Barry University's No. 1-ranked men’s tennis team went wire-to-wire with No. 5 Hawai’I Pacific before succumbing, 5-4, Saturday at Buccaneer Tennis Center. The Buccaneers fell to 14-2, while the Sea Warriors remained unbeaten at 13-0.

It was the second match decided by one point for the Bucs, and both of them have come against West Coast schools. Barry won a 5-4 verdict at No. 11 Azusa Pacific on March 5 in its three-day trip to Southern California.

HPU, whom the Bucs beat, 5-1, in last year’s NCAA quarterfinals en route to winning the national championship in Surprise, Ariz., took a 2-1 lead after doubles. Petr Michnev and Thibaud Berland defeated Barry’s Ahmed Triki and Ollie Lemaitre, 8-3, at No. 1. Mattis Wetzel and Jaume Martinez-Vich outlasted Barry’s Romain Costamagna and Leo Vivas, 8-6, in a back-and-forth, high-energy battle at No. 2.

Barry’s No. 3 team of Kevin Sielmann and Renato Lombardi coasted to an 8-2 win over Adriano Locorotondo and Yann Renault.

Michnev, the No. 2-ranked player in the country, was put to the test by Triki in the first set before holding on for a 7-6 (8-6) win. Michnev, a senior from Ostrava, Czech Republic, won the second set over the Bucs freshman from Tunis, Tunisia, 6-1.

Ranked No. 12, Barry junior Fabian Groetsch, a product of Nuremberg, Germany, continued to turn up the level of his tennis. With energy flowing from his racquet, Groetsch exuded loads of confidence as he knocked off sixth-ranked Martinez-Vich, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, at No. 2 singles. It was his first win over a ranked opponent this season, and a big triumph at that.

Barry newcomer Nico Dreer, an Albstadt, Germany native, was locked in during his 6-0, 6-4 win over Wetzel at No. 4 singles. Dreer improved to 11-1 overall, and 4-0 at No. 4 singles. Vivas, a senior from Caracas, Venezuela, who owns the No. 37 individual ranking in the country, gutted out a 7-5, 7-5 win at No. 5 singles over Locorotondo. Vivas matched Dreer for a team-leading 11 wins. He is 11-3.

His win put the Bucs ahead, 4-3, in the ever-changing momentum see-saw match.

But the Sea Warriors held on in the final two matches to finish – both three setters. Berland beat Costamagna, 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, at No. 3 singles. Clemens Graute survived a gritty Lemaitre, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, at No. 6.

The Buccaneers will host Nebraska-Omaha at 3 p.m. Monday before going on the road for a pair of matches in the Orlando area next weekend.


Oh oh ....

We are sorry but it appears that JavaScript is disabled on your browser.
Our site is very interactive and it requires JavaScript to be enabled.
Click on the link below for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Enable JavaScript on your browser