Men's Tennis Wins NCAA Opener Over Rockhurst To Reach Regional Final

Men's Tennis Wins NCAA Opener Over Rockhurst To Reach Regional Final

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's tennis team picked up a postseason victory as the Bulldogs recorded a 5-3 win over Rockhurst (Mo.) in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Division II Tournament on Saturday (April 27) night in Evansville, Ind. 

The match had been set for an afternon start, but was moved inside and pushed back to Saturday evening at the Evansville Tennis Center due to weather conditions outside.

The Bulldogs will move on to meet top-seeded Southern Indiana on Sunday (April 28) afternoon at 2 p.m. (ET) in Evansville with a berth in the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen on the line.  USI is hosting one of the two regionals in the Midwest Region and received a first-round bye.

Sunday's winner will advance to the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen and the remainder of the NCAA tourney set for May 8-11 in Surprise, Ariz.

Ferris State bolted out to an early 3-0 lead over Rockhurst by winning all three doubles flights.  The top Bulldog team of Razvan Mag and Laurent Galarneau was a 9-7 winner in a close number one match with Sergiu Laza and Tyler Marengo teaming up for an 8-6 win at second doubles.  The pairing of Otto Keresztes and Aaron Dial posted an 8-5 triumph at the third spot.

In singles action, Rockhurst trimmed the margin to 3-2 by winning the first two completed flights.  Mag fell to Pawel Grzegrzolka 6-1, 6-2 at the fourth flight before Rodolfo Gauto-Mariotti topped Galarneau 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 at the top flight.

However, the Bulldogs pushed the advantage back to 4-2 when Keresztes defeated Truit Gray 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 at five singles.  Rockhurst's Yassir El Ghazi came in as the fourth finisher and cut the margin to 4-3 with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 win at two singles, but Dial gave the Bulldogs the victory when he topped Anthony Ibarra at the sixth spot with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 triumph.

The Bulldogs, who improved to 16-5 overall this year with the victory, are making their 18th overall NCAA-II Tournament appearance, including a second-straight showing.

A year ago, the Bulldogs returned to the field for the first time since 2010 after missing the event in 2011. 

Prior to 2011, the Bulldogs had made 13 consecutive trips to the regional tournament.  Ferris has advanced to the NCAA-II "Sweet Sixteen" round nine times overall in its history.

Last year, the Bulldogs upset Lewis (Ill.) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament by a 5-3 count before falling in the regional final against Drury in Springfield, Mo.

FSU was ranked 34th nationally in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll while Rockhurst came in 45th nationally and owned a 13-7 overall mark to date this year prior to the setback. Host USI was 40th in the country, but won the GLVC Tournament last weekend and holds a 16-4 overall mark to date this campaign entering Sunday's regional final.

Ferris State 5, Rockhurst 3
Apr 27, 2013 at Evansville, IN (USI Tennis Courts) 

Singles competition
1. Gauto-Mariotti, Ro. (RU) def. Laurent Galarneau (FS) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2
2. El Ghazi, Yassir (RU) def. Sergiu Laza (FS) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
3. Tyler Marengo (FS) vs. Lazenby, John (RU) 2-6, 6-4, 2-1, unfinished
4. Grzegrzolka, Pawel (RU) def. Razvan Mag (FS) 6-1, 6-2
5. Otto Keresztes (FS) def. Gray, Truit (RU) 1-6, 6-3, 7-5
6. Aaron Dial (FS) def. Ibarra, Anthony (RU) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Doubles competition
1. Laurent Galarneau/Razvan Mag (FS) def. Lazenby, John/Grzegrzolka, Pawel (RU) 9-7
2. Sergiu Laza/Tyler Marengo (FS) def. Gauto-Mariotti, Ro./El Ghazi, Yassir (RU) 8-6
3. Otto Keresztes/Aaron Dial (FS) def. Ibarra, Anthony/Gray, Truit (RU) 8-5