Drake Captures MVC Regular Season Title Downing Wichita State, 4-0
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake men’s tennis team captured its fourth consecutive Missouri Valley Conference regular season title with a 4-0 triumph past Wichita State on Friday (April 18) at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.
“Today was a great win to end our regular season,” Drake head coach Davidson Kozlowski commented. “It was fitting that our senior captain Robin Goodman finished his regular season career by clinching the win at home over Wichita State to claim the MVC regular season championship. I’m very proud of the way our guys competed and remained focused against a feisty Wichita State team. The victory feels good and I told the boys to enjoy this for the weekend, but to come back on Monday focused on getting ready for the MVC Championship.”
The victory was the 20th of the season for the Bulldogs, enabling Drake to record its fourth straight 20-win campaign.
Doubles proved to be a back-and-forth battle between the two top teams in the conference as both sides exchanged leads on all three courts.
The first domino fell at No. 1 where the tandem of senior Robin Goodman (Cambridge, England) and sophomore Ben Lott (Newcastle, England) garnered an 8-7 (6) decision over Tomislav Gregurovic and Tin Ostojic.
Within minutes, the Bulldogs had captured the doubles tally on the strength of an 8-4 victory on the No 2 court from juniors Ben Mullis (Leicestershire, England) and Alen Salibasic (Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina) past Ilija Cuic and Jocelyn Devilliers.
Junior Matt Frost (Cambridge, England) extended the Bulldogs’ advantage to 2-0 in singles downing Guillermo Nicol at the No. 4 slot, 6-1, 6-2.
Drake’s third point came as a result of a match-ending injury to Cuic in the midst of a first-set tiebreaker at No. 1 versus Salibasic. With the breaker squared at nine, Salibasic hit a forehand smash down the line that Cuic was not able to capture resulting in a 10-9 lead. During his attempt to return the ball, Cuic came up short and after several attempts to continue conceded the outcome of the contest in Salibasic's favor.
With Goodman and Mullis battling to see who could capture the match-clinching tally first, it was fittingly Drake’s senior captain Goodman registering a 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Gregurovic.
Mullis was leading Devilliers, 6-2, 5-2 on the No. 6 court when play was suspended, while junior Ravi Patel (London, England) maintained a 6-3, 1-1 advantage against Guillermo de Vilchez at the No. 5 position.
With the victory, Drake clinched the top seed and a bye into the semifinals at next week’s MVC Championship in Normal, Ill. The Bulldogs will open competition on Saturday (April 26) against the winner of the No. 4/5 seed contest scheduled for Friday (April 25).
NO. 38 DRAKE (20-5, 4-0 MVC) DEF. WICHITA STATE (17-8, 3-1 MVC), 4-0
APRIL 18, 2014 • ROGER KNAPP TENNIS CENTER
No. 1 Alen Salibasic (DU) def. Ilija Cuic (WSU), 6-6 (10-9), won by retirement
No. 2 Tin Ostojic (WSU) leading Ben Lott (DU), 6-2, 5-4 unfinished
No. 3 Robin Goodman (DU) def. Tomislav Gregurovic (WSU), 6-3, 6-3
No. 4 Matt Frost (DU) def. Guillermo Nicol (WSU), 6-1, 6-2
No. 5 Ravi Patel (DU) leading Guillermo de Vilchez (WSU), 6-3, 1-1 unfinished
No. 6 Ben Mullis (DU) leading Jocelyn Devilliers (WSU), 6-2, 5-2 unfinished
Order of finish: 4,1,3
No. 1 Goodman/Lott (DU) def. Gregurovic/Ostojic (WSU), 8-7 (6)
No. 2 Mullis/Salibasic (DU) def. Cuic/Devilliers (WSU), 8-4
No. 3 de Vilchez/Nicol (WSU) leading Frost/Patel (DU), 6-5 unfinished
Order of finish: 1,2