NU Captures Battle Of Ranked GLIAC Leaders

FSU senior Ahmet Demir picked up a win at third doubles (Photo by Ed Hyde)
FSU senior Ahmet Demir picked up a win at third doubles (Photo by Ed Hyde)
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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's tennis team jumped out to a slim advantage following the doubles round, but it wasn't enough as the Bulldogs dropped a 6-3 decision to Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) rival Northwood on Thursday (April 8) afternoon at the FSU Racquet and Fitness Center.

The Timberwolves, who are listed 15th nationally in the latest Campbell's/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division II National Rankings, claimed the battle of nationally-ranked and league unbeatens by taking five of the six singles spots against the 38th-ranked Bulldogs.

The win was NU's 21st consecutive triumph over the Bulldogs dating back to a 5-4 FSU win in the 1999 GLIAC Tournament Championship match.  Overall, Northwood has claimed 15-straight league titles to date.

Ferris started the match well as the Bulldog tandem of senior Ahmet Demir and freshman Arin Enge posted an 8-2 victory over NU's Julian Freese and Max Dutois at the third flight followed by an impressive 8-6 upset from FSU senior Kyle Revall and junior Steven Roberts versus the nation's 22nd-ranked Northwood pairing of Peter Kazianschuetz and Frederic Schoelzel at the number one position.

NU's lone doubles triumph came at the second flight where Marcus Oliveira and Michael Haas topped FSU sophomores Jack Swan and Justin Hermes by an 8-5 count.

However, the Timberwolves rallied in singles action with straight-set wins at five of the six positions.

Ferris State's lone singles triumph occurred at the third flight as Swan defeated Oliveira 6-3, 6-4 in the match.

Both Kazianschuetz, who is ranked 45th nationally, and Schoelzel bounced back from the doubles defeat to record wins at the top two singles flights.  Kazianschuetz beat FSU's Revall 6-2, 6-4 while Schoelzel handled Demir 6-1, 6-1.

Both of the top two singles flights pitted a pair of regionally-ranked foes against one another as Kazianschuetz is presently second and Schoelzel third for Northwood in the most recent ITA Division II Midwest Regional Singles Rankings.  Meanhwile, Revall is 12th and Demir 14th for the Bulldogs, who are also listed fourth in the regional team listing compared to NU's top billing.

The Timberwolves also captured the bottom three singles flights in winning their sixth consecutive match this campaign.  Freese was a 6-2, 6-2 winner against Roberts in number four singles action, Dutois earned a 6-3, 6-4 triumph versus Hermes at the fifth position while Hass defeated FSU freshman Tyler Marengo 6-3, 6-1 at the sixth spot.

With the setback, the Bulldogs dropped to 8-6 overall and 4-1 in league play while the Timberwolves improved to 7-3 overall and 5-0 in the GLIAC. The match also ended a five-match Bulldog winning streak. All six of FSU's setbacks this season have came against either NCAA Division I competition or teams ranked higher in the NCAA Division II National Rankings.

Ferris State will quickly return to the courts on Sunday (April 11) as the Bulldogs host Wayne State in another key GLIAC match at the FSU Racquet and Fitness Center.  The match will serve as FSU's regular-season home finale and is scheduled for a 1 p.m. (ET) start.  WSU remains tied atop the GLIAC standings with Northwood as both teams have idential 5-0 records while the Bulldogs are only one match behind.

Following Sunday's match, the Bulldogs wrap up the regular-season by venturing to Grand Valley State on Wednesday, April 14, for a 3 p.m. (EDT) conference encounter.  The GLIAC Tournament will take place April 17-18 in Midland, Mich.