Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's tennis team put up a valiant fight, but had a historic season come to an end on Wednesday (May 10) as the Bulldogs fell 5-4 to Southwest Baptist (Mo.) in the NCAA Division II National Quarterfinals at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
The Bulldogs, who were making a second consecutive appearance in the Division II Elite Eight, were denied a return trip to the national semifinals as 20th-ranked Southwest Baptist held off a FSU rally to move on in the national tournament.
The Bearcats jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the doubles round as they picked up a pair of close wins at the first and second flights in the lineup. Ferris State had earned the first point of the day when the senior tandem of Raleigh Grossbaum and Robert Camplin scored an 8-5 win at the third position in the lineup.
Southwest Baptist pushed its lead over the nationally 16th-ranked Bulldogs to 4-1 early in the singles round as the Bearcats recorded straight-set wins at both one and five singles in the first two completed matches.
However, the Bulldogs were not done as FSU rallied to square the match up at four wins apiece. Junior Vasil Surduk won a three-set decision at two singles while Steward Sell and freshman Pablo Munoz Baroja were straight-set winners at three and six singles, respectively.
That set up the deciding match at four singles were FSU's Nur Adim Ramdani Iswan and Southwest Baptist's Raul Cabalero fought to the very finish. Cabalero had won the first set 6-2, but Iswan picked up a 6-4 victory in the second set to force the deciding frame. In the third and final set, the lead went back and forth late before Cabalero finally emerged on top 7-6 (7-1).
Ferris State saw its season come to an end with a 20-3 overall record this year under interim head coach Danny Hunt. The Bulldogs had won 14-straight matches this season prior to the Elite Eight setback and all three losses came to teams ranked in the top 20 in the nation.
The Bulldogs, who captured a second-straight NCAA Midwest Regional Championship this year, opened the round of 16 with a decisive 5-0 shutout over Chowan (NC) on Tuesday in Altamonte Springs before the setback.
Ferris State, which was making its 21st all-time NCAA Tournament bid, took part in the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time in school history. Prior to the past two years, FSU had not advanced to the Elite Eight since 2004.
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.
The 2016 and 2017 campaigns represent the only times in which FSU has won both the GLIAC Regular-Season & Tournament Championships in the same year since the tournament moved to its current dual team format.
The complete boxscore can be found at the link below:
FSU vs Southwest Baptist Boxscore