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By HPU Athletics. May 18, 2014 - 11:31 am
The second-ranked Hawai’i Pacific Men’s Tennis Team (23-1) fought valiantly against top ranked West Florida (29-0) in the NCAA Division II National Championship, but couldn’t complete the comeback, falling 5-3.
Doubles play went the way of the de facto home team. West Florida took first and second doubles by 8-4 and 8-5 counts. At third doubles, Yann Renault and Adriano Locorotondo nearly pulled off the win after a long battle, but lost 9-7 in the tiebreaker.
West Florida took a 4-0 lead with a win at first singles, but then the Sea Warriors rallied. Mattis Wetzel landed the first blow for the Sea Warriors with a 6-2, 6-4 win at fourth singles. Thibaud Berland, who is ranked 35th nationally in singles, picked up a quality win vs. the 11th ranked player in straight sets (6-3, 6-4) at third singles. Locorotondo then made it a 4-3 match with his 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) win at fifth singles. That was it however as West Florida finished off the match with a three set win at second singles.
HPU closes the season ranked #2 with a 23-1 record. The Sea Warriors will await the May 28th ITA final rankings to see how many team members are named All-Americans.
Photo by Eric Alcantara.