Men's Tennis Stuns Marquette, Advances to BIG EAST Title Match
April 26, 2014
NEW YORK -- Exactly two weeks ago in Chicago, the Marquette Golden Eagles beat Filip Dzanko and the DePaul men's tennis team to spoil the senior's final home match.
But today in New York, Dzanko and the Blue Demons got their revenge over their rivals.
Third-seeded DePaul (11-13) edged No. 2 Marquette (16-9), 4-3, in the BIG EAST Semifinals, earning a date with No. 1 St. John's in tomorrow morning's BIG EAST Championship match.
Match time is slated for 11 a.m. (CST).
"This was the best match of my career," said Dzanko, who picked up a victory in the No. 1 singles match over Dan Mamalat. "Kyle Johnson played an amazing match and after nearly five hours we finally won. We are looking forward to playing in the conference championship tomorrow."
The Blue Demons stumbled out of the gate and trailed Marquette, 1-0, after the doubles matches. The Golden Eagles picked up wins in the No. 2 and No. 3 matches, but Dzanko and David Vieyra did beat Mamalat and Vukasin Teofanovic in the No. 1 match, 8-5.
Needing to win 4-of-6 singles matches to advance to Sunday's final, Dzanko evened the score at 1-1 with a dominating 6-3, 6-3 win over Mamalat at No. 1 singles. Then, Sten Leusink gave DePaul its first lead of the day when he beat Teofanovic at No. 2 singles, 7-6 (4), 6-0.
But the Golden Eagles would rally back.
Marquette took the next two matches from DePaul, getting wins from Nick Dykema at No. 4 singles and Cameron Tehrami in the No. 5 slot.
Tehrami's win at No. 5 singles gave Marquette a 3-2 edge.
DePaul would draw even again, though, when Vieyra picked up a critical win at No. 3 singles to level the match, 3-3. The junior defeated Logon Collins in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.
The semifinal contest would come down to the final match of the day, the No. 6 match between Johnson and Gleb Sklyr.
Johnson would take the first set from Skylr, 6-4. But the Marquette sophomore fired back with a clutch 6-7 (7) win in set number two. The third and final set belonged to Johnson, though. The sophomore from Charlotte, N.C., rolled past Sklyr, 6-2, to clinch both the match and the semifinal victory to send his team into tomorrow's championship.
"We are all super pumped up right now," Dzanko said. "We feel grateful that we are playing St. John's tomorrow and want to bring the title back to Chicago."
St. John's enters the match at 15-7 overall and ranked No. 72 nationally. The top-seeded Red Storm shut out fourth-seeded Xavier today, 5-0, to advance to the finals. They knocked off Villanova in Friday's quarterfinals.
The Blue Demons and Red Storm met once during the 2014 regular season, a match that St. John's won, 4-3, on Jan. 31 in New York.
Match Results - #3 DePaul 4, #2 Marquette 3
1. Dzanko/Vieyra (DPU) def. Mamalat/Teofanovic (MU), 8-5
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3
1. Filip Dzanko (DPU) def. Dan Mamalat (MU), 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 4, 5, 3, 6