MIAMI SHORES, Fla.—The second-ranked Barry Buccaneers punched their tickets for the NCAA Division II National Tennis Tournament with a 5-0 win over 10th-ranked West Florida at the Buccaneer Tennis Center on Saturday in the finals of the South Region I Tournament.
“I think we played exceptionally well,” Barry head coach George Samuel said. “Everyone showed up excited and full of team spirit. We came out confident, but not complacent, and played our best tennis.”
The Bucs (24-2) set the tone early in doubles. Jakub Fejfar and Sergio Velez made quick work of Nathan Rosenfeld and Michael Lue, whose win at number three doubles was so instrumental in the Argonauts’ semifinal win. The Buccaneer pair came out on top 8-2.
At number two, Andrew Sharnov and Ales Svigelj knocked off Luis Arboleda and Patrick Bateman 8-3, while the fourth-ranked pair of Emanuel Fraitzl and Max Wimmer closed out the sweep by beating #18 Kevin Ducros and Andrey Pozhidaev 8-4.
“It would have been easy for the guys to fold after going down 3-0,” UWF head coach Derrick Racine said, “but they came out and fought hard in singles.”
The Argonauts (15-10) grabbed first sets at number one and number three and forced tie breakers at four and five.
Fraitzl, ranked 20th, battled a scrappy #34 Pozhidaev at number two winning 6-4, 6-3 in a very closely contested and heated match.
“I think the five-mile runs we’ve been taking every day in practice really paid off,” Samuel said. “We really weren’t affected by the heat. We didn’t seem to get tired as the match went on.”
The tipping point of the match came at number six. Fejfar came out flat and Rosenfeld jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead. But the Buccaneer righted the ship and went on to win 11 straight games to take the point 6-4, 6-0 and clinch the win.
“We’ve got such a young team,” Racine, who has seven freshman and two sophomores among 11 players, said. “It was a good learning experience for us. It just a shame more of the top teams can’t go to the finals site.”
With the NCAA’s regional emphasis, eight of the top 16 teams in the country get eliminated in the regional tournaments, including five of the top 10.
The Bucs will now face the BYU-Hawai’i Seasiders in the opening round of the national tournament in Altamonte Springs, Fla., at Sanlando Park on Wednesday, May 13.
The Bucs finished second in the nation last season, reaching the finals for the third time in school history before falling to Armstrong Atlantic.
Tennis Match Results
West Florida vs Barry
5/09/2009 at Miami Shores, Fla.
(Buccaneer Tennis Center)
#2 Barry 5, #10 West Florida 0
1. #4 Ales Svigelj (BUM) vs. #11 Kevin Ducros (UWFM) 6-7 (6-8), 1-2, unfinished
2. #20 Emanuel Fraitzl (BUM) def. #34 Andrey Pozhidaev (UWFM) 6-4, 6-3
3. #43 Andrew Sharnov (BUM) vs. Luis Arboleda (UWFM) 5-7, 2-2, unfinished
4. Max Wimmer (BUM) vs. Patrick Bateman (UWFM) 7-6 (7-3), 3-0, unfinished
5. Roman Werschel (BUM) vs. Jose Ycaza (UWFM) 7-6 (7-2), 1-1, unfinished
6. Jakub Fejfar (BUM) def. Nathan Rosenfeld (UWFM) 6-4, 6-0
1. #4 Emanuel Fraitzl/Max Wimmer (BUM) def. #18 Kevin Ducros/Andrey Pozhidaev (UWFM) 8-4
2. #12 Ales Svigelj/Andrew Sharnov (BUM) def. Luis Arboleda/Patrick Bateman (UWFM) 8-3
3. Jakub Fejfar/Sergio Velez (BUM) def. Nathan Rosenfeld/Michael Lue (UWFM) 8-2
West Florida 15-9; National ranking #10
Barry 23-2; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (,2,6)