Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's tennis team claimed the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Championship for the second consecutive year and advanced to the Division II Sweet Sixteen by beating archrival Grand Valley State 5-1 in the bracket title match on Sunday (April 30) inside the FSU Racquet and Fitness Center.
The nationally 15th-ranked Bulldogs, who were the top seed in the region and received a first-round bye, beat the fourth-seeded Lakers in the national round of 32 for the second-straight year on their home court to move on in the NCAA Tournament.
With the triumph, Ferris State will next take part in the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen set for May 9-12 in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
"We knew coming in this was going to be a tough match, but it's a big credit to our guys for coming out ready to compete," said FSU coach Danny Hunt. "We're thrilled to keep this season going and have another opportunity to keep representing our university and Bulldog Tennis on the national stage."
Ferris State took a 2-1 lead over the Lakers following a highly-competitive doubles round. The Lakers got their lone win of the day at the number one singles flight by an 8-3 count, but the Bulldogs secured points at the second and third doubles spots.
FSU's number two doubles tandem of Vasil Surduk and Nur Adim Ramdani Iswan captured an 8-5 win while the senior pairing of Robert Camplin and Raleigh Grossbaum emerged victorious with a big 8-3 decision at third doubles.
The Bulldogs then seized control in the singles round as FSU swept the top three flights in the lineup while making quick work of the Lakers. Sophomore Steward Sell grabbed a 6-1, 6-0 triumph at the third flight with Surduk taking a 6-0, 6-4 victory at the two spot in the lineup.
That setup the final point at the number one singles flight where for the second-straight year sophomore Till von Winning claimed the final point for the Bulldogs in the regional championship match. He downed GVSU's Sebastien Lescoulie 6-2, 6-1 as FSU moved on in the national tournament.
Ferris State, which is making its 21st all-time NCAA Tournament bid, improved to 19-2 overall this campaign while GVSU saw its season come to an end at 20-8 on the year.
FSU, seeded first in the Midwest Region, hosted one of the two Midwest Regional Tourneys with the champions of each both advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. Along with Ferris State, Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Champion Indianapolis was also chosen to host the other Midwest Regional bracket, but fell to the region's third-seed Drury (Mo.) in the bracket final.
Ferris State will advance to the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time in school history, including the second year in a row. Last year, the Bulldogs won the regional in Big Rapids and moved on to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2005 and eventually reached the NCAA Division II Final Four for the first time in school history.
Along with capturing the regional title, the Bulldogs also won the GLIAC Regular-Season Championship for the third-straight campaign this year and won the league's postseason tournament for the second year in a row. FSU has won its last 13 outings in a row to date this year.
The Bulldogs will next face Chowan in the Sweet Sixteen on May 9 starting at 4 p.m. (ET) at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs.
Below are the complete match results:
Ferris State 5, Grand Valley State 1
Apr 30, 2017 at Big Rapids, Mich. (FSU Racquet & Fitness Center)
|1. Till von Winning (FS) def. Sebastien Lescoulie (GV) 6-2, 6-1|
|2. Vasil Surduk (FS) def. Zach Phillips (GV) 6-0, 6-4|
|3. Steward Sell (FS) def. Jack Geissler (GV) 6-1, 6-0|
|4. Nur Adim R. Iswan (FS) vs. Jack Heiniger (GV) unfinished|
|5. Daniil Tarantinov (FS) vs. Alex van de Steenove (GV) unfinished|
|6. Pablo Munoz Baroja (FS) vs. Nicholas Urban (GV) unfinished|
|1. Zach Phillips/Alex van de Steenove (GV) def. Till von Winning/Steward Sell (FS) 8-3|
|2. Vasil Surduk/Nur Adim R. Iswan (FS) def. Jack Heiniger/Sebastien Lescoulie (GV) 8-5|
|3. Robert Camplin/Raleigh Grossbaum (FS) def. Nicholas Urban/Jack Geissler (GV) 8-3|