Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's tennis team picked up right where it left off as the Bulldogs upset nationally 37th-ranked Lewis (Ill.) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Monday (April 30) in Springfield, Mo.
The 46th-ranked Bulldogs, who stunned nationally 13th-ranked Northwood in the finals of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament in their most recent action last week, opened the Midwest Regional by avenging an earlier regular-season setback to the Flyers.
With the win, the Bulldogs move on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and the regional final on Tuesday (May 1) where they will square off against nationally 20th-ranked Drury (Mo.) at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield. The Panthers are the number one seed in the three-team regional and received a first-round bye.
The Bulldogs, seeded fifth overall in the region and last among the three sub-region schools, took out fourth-seeded Lewis despite trailing 2-1 after the doubles round. The Flyers grabbed wins at both the first and second doubles positions before the Bulldog combination of Jack Swan and Tyler Marengo managed to pull out an 8-6 triumph at the third flight.
In singles play, the Bulldogs seized control. FSU claimed four of the first five completed matches, including freshman Laurent Galarneau's straight-set upset of the nation's 22nd-ranked player in Uno Lapimaa by a 6-4, 6-3 count at the number one flight.
Swan was victorious at second singles in straight-sets and the Bulldogs dominated at the fourth and fifth flights where Otto Keresztes and Razvan Mag claimed victories. Marengo's match at sixth singles went unfinished as the Bulldogs had secured the 5-3 win.
The Bulldogs improved to 17-6 overall this campaign with the triumph while Lewis had its season come to a close with a 19-6 overall record. Earlier this year (March 13), the Flyers had beat the Bulldogs by a 5-4 count in Big Rapids. In the earlier match this season, both Galarneau and Swan lost their matches at the top two flights, but both came back to earn wins in the NCAA regional showdown.
The Bulldogs and host Drury will square off on Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. (CT) with a berth in the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen set for May 16-19 in Louisville (Ky.) on the line.
Drury is serving as the host of one of the two Midwest Region preliminary rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldog men are currently making their 17th overall NCAA-II Tournament appearance and their first since 2010. FSU has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen round nine times overall in its history heading into Tuesday's regional final.
Below are the complete match results:
#46 Ferris State 5, #37 Lewis 3
Apr 25, 2012 at Springfield, MO (Cooper Tennis Complex)
|1. Laurent Galarneau (FS) def. #22 Lapimaa, Uno (LEWIS) 6-4, 6-3|
|2. Jack Swan (FS) def. Aunapuu, Erik (LEWIS) 7-6, 6-3|
|3. Levandi, Armand (LEWIS) def. Steven Roberts (FS) 6-4, 6-1|
|4. Otto Keresztes (FS) def. Hardacre, Jesse (LEWIS) 6-2, 6-2|
|5. Razvan Mag (FS) def. Wojnarowski, Michael (LEWIS) 6-2, 6-1|
|6. Balase, Isriz (LEWIS) vs. Tyler Marengo (FS) unfinished|
|1. Lapimaa, Uno/Aunapuu, Erik (LEWIS) def. Laurent Galarneau/Steven Roberts (FS) 8-6|
|2. Wojnarowski, Michael/Levandi, Armand (LEWIS) def. Justin Hermes/Otto Keresztes (FS) 8-5|
|3. Jack Swan/Tyler Marengo (FS) def. Hardacre, Jesse/Richert, John (LEWIS) 8-6|