No. 14 Concordia Drops Heartbreaker to No. 9 Grand Canyon in NCAA Round of 16 Match, 5-4
Louisville, KY – The 14th-ranked Concordia College Clippers men's tennis team battled the Grand Canyon University Antelopes in their NCAA Round of 16 match on Thursday morning. The Clippers held a slight lead at 4-3 but the Antelopes finished strong in the last two matches for a 5-4 comeback victory as Concordia was unable to reach the NCAA Quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive season.
Concordia began the match with back-to-back losses in doubles competition as the No.1 duo of Tomasz Olfans (Opole, Poland) and Ricardo Frey (Curitiba, Brazil) dropped an 8-2 decision while the No. 2 doubles team of Geza Bazula (Budapest, Hungary) and Daniele Piludu (Cagliari, Italy) fell 8-6. The remaining No. 3 doubles match would go down to the wire as Andreas Lindell (Helsingborg, Sweden) and David Tisserand (Lyon, France) edged out a 9-8 (8-6) victory as the Clippers trailed 2-1 overall heading into singles play. Lindell carried his success in the doubles match over to his No. 6 singles match with an easy 6-1, 6-2 win as Concordia evened up the score. Piludu would follow shortly in his No. 1 match as he took a 6-3, 6-1 victory and give the Clippers a 3-2 overall lead.
Grand Canyon would tie the score with a victory in the No. 2 singles match as Bazula fell in straight sets for Concordia 6-3, 6-4 over the 22nd-ranked singles player in the nation, Frederic Schoelzel. Tisserand added another win for the Clippers and inch one step closer to the overall victory. In the opening set David shutout his opponent 6-0 and then had to fight hard for a 7-6 second set win as Concordia now led 4-3.
The two remaining matches would be nerve-racking to watch as elimination would be an inevitable fate for one of the teams. Mark Mozer (Brest, Belarus) would drop his opening No. 5 singles set 4-6 and then rebounded to tie the match with a 6-3 win in the second set. Mozer was unable to give the Clippers the match clinching victory as he fell 7-5 and the Antelopes tied the overall score at 4-4.
Olfans' No. 4 match would decide the winner as all eyes were now on him and his opponent, Peter Kazianschuetz. The first set would go in favor of Kazianschuetz with a 6-4 win as Olfans responded in the second set with a 6-3 victory of his own. Peter began the deciding set with a 4-3 advantage only to have Tomasz tie it at 5-5. After Kazianschuetz took the next point, Olfans evened the score again at 6-6. In the tiebreaker, Grand Canyon edged out the 7-5 win to move on to the next round of the tournament and end the season for Concordia.
For the sixth consecutive season the Clippers (18-8, 6-0 CACC) ended the year with more than 18 victories. Concordia also reached the NCAA Round of 16 for the eighth straight season and will now look towards next year for another shot at a national title.