Blue Demons Buck Broncos
CHICAGO The No. 75 DePaul men’s tennis team fought off a late surge from Western Michigan to walk away with a 4-3 victory. Bartosz Jozwiak and Jose Moncada both walked away victorious from must-win marathon-matches to clinch the team win for the Blue Demons. The team improved to an 8-1 record, while the Broncos fall to 8-4.
First, in the doubles competition, Matija Palinic and Jose Moncada quickly put their match away against Pablo Olivarez and Kazuya Komada, 8-4, in the No. 3 slot. The Broncos did not bow out quietly, however, forcing both the No. 1 and No. 2 matches into tie-breakers.
No. 41-ranked doubles duo Austin Doerner and Ben Hartman went point-for-point the entire match with Zeyad Montasser and Michael Calderone. Behind strong service from Hartman, the Blue Demons tied the score at four, but lost the next two points to fall behind 4-6. With the Broncos in possession of the serve, Doerner and Hartman came up with several clinch points to break serve and come back within one point. The duo rallied to win the next two points, but the Broncos continued to fight. Doerner delivered three service aces to even out the score at seven.
Meanwhile, No. 2 doubles scoreboard read the same as the No. 1 match. While Alasdair Graetz and Jozwiak were up by as much as three points, Casey Cullen and Kevin Hayward refused to go away. With the momentum of the match going against them, Jozwiak and Graetz remained focused to go ahead 8-7. The Broncos, once more, leveled the score to eight, forcing the match to go into a tie breaker.
Hartman and Doerner won the race to the finish, clinching the doubles point for the team with a match score of 9-7. Jozwiak and Graetz finished their match 9-8 (4).
In singles action, Calderone was the first to earn a point for Western Michigan, beating Hartman, 6-3, 6-2. This was the second time the two have faced each other in competition this season. The first meeting was last fall during the Wildcat Invitational, where Hartman beat Calderone 6-2, 6-3.
Palinic put the Blue Demons back on top, winning his No. 6 singles match against Casey Cullen, 6-4, 6-4. The Broncos rallied to take the next two points, however, and go ahead 3-2.
Moncada started off strong in the first set, winning 6-3. Komada used the break between sets to regroup and take the second set, 6-3. Knowing the team needed to win the remaining two matches to clinch the team victory, Moncada showed his leadership to decisively put the match away in the third and final set by a score of 6-2.
Jozwiak found himself behind in his No. 4 singles match early, losing the first set to Montasser, 6-3. He continued to climb back after the first set loss to keep himself and ultimately the team in the match. Jozwiak came alive in the third and final set, knowing team need him to win to claim victory. With momentum on his side, Jozwiak clinched the overall match with his 6-0 third set win.
The Blue Demons return to action tomorrow, when they face Illinois State at 5 p.m. (CST) at the Lakeshore Athletic Club.
Noting the Blue Demons: The squad has opened their dual season with a combined singles record of 35-19 and a combined doubles record of 16-8... the Blue Demons have outscored opponents in team-play, 48-11... Austin Doerner and Ben Hartman received a ranking of No. 41 in the ITA doubles polls on Feb. 19, 2009... head coach Matt Brothers’ career record now stands at 24-11... DePaul's current winning streak at home stands at 15 dating back to the 2005-06 season...Bartosz Jozwiak and Jose Moncada currently lead the team with 14 singles-match wins... while Alasdair Graetz and Moncada have the most doubles-match wins with 11, Doerner and Hartman have the highest winning percentage (.888).
DePaul - 4, Western Michigan, 3