Drake Pulls Out Dramatic 4-3 Win Over No. 32 Memphis
The Bulldogs fell behind the Tigers in a match that lasted nearly 4.5 hours, 3-0, before registering four-unanswered victories to move into the tournament finale on Saturday (March 22) against No. 28 Harvard for the second consecutive year.
“Incredible effort by the entire team in a 4.5-hour emotional roller coaster of a match,” Drake head coach Davidson Kozlowski commented. “Somehow, led by Robin (Goodman), our senior captain, we found a way to end the ride on a high in one of the best college matches I have been apart of.”
Memphis took the early advantage in the affair recording wins at the top two doubles positions to claim the tally and a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers moved to within a point of victory in singles with wins on the Nos. 1 and 4 courts, respectively.
Sophomore Ben Lott (Newcastle, England) began the Bulldogs’ comeback posting a 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-2 victory over 94th-ranked Joe Salisbury at the No. 2 spot.
Junior Ben Mullis (Leicestershire, England) cut the deficit to 3-2 at No. 6 besting David O’Hare in three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 6-0.
Junior Ravi Patel (London, England) followed by netting his 10th consecutive singles triumph edging Ian Chadwell, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2, at No. 5.
With the tilt squared at three, Goodman captured the first set of his showdown with David O’Leary on the No. 3 court, 6-4, before falling in the second frame, 5-7. In the deciding third set, Goodman fell behind 5-3 before rallying to force and win the tiebreaker to claim a 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (2) victory.
“To be able to bounce back after losing the doubles point and take four singles courts against a top-ranked team speaks volumes for the effort and belief put fourth,” said Kozlowski. “Add in the fact that we fell behind 3-0 and won all four remaining matches in three sets says a lot about this team and the growth we have been making this season. Last year's team was led by four seniors and this year's team being younger has been struggling to find its own identity and I think they are starting to find it.”
Drake will look to capture the tournament title on Saturday (March 22) as the Bulldogs battle No. 28 Harvard at 4:00 p.m. CT.
NO. 43 DRAKE (13-5) DEF. NO. 32 MEMPHIS (8-3), 4-3
MARCH 21, 2014 • SAN DIEGO, CALIF.
No. 1 No. 49 Connor Glennon (MEMPHIS) def. Alen Salibasic (DU), 6-4, 6-3
No. 2 Ben Lott (DU) def. No. 94 Joe Salisbury (MEMPHIS), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-2
No. 3 Robin Goodman (DU) def. David O’Leary (MEMPHIS), 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (2)
No. 4 Johnny Grimal (MEMPHIS) def. Matt Frost (DU), 7-5, 6-3
No. 5 Ravi Patel (DU) def. Ian Chadwell (MEMPHIS), 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-2
No. 6 Ben Mullis (DU) def. David O’Hare (MEMPHIS), 6-4, 1-6, 6-0
Order of Finish: 1,4,2,6,5,3
No. 1 No. 9 O’Hare/Salibury (MEMPHIS) def. Goodman/Lott (DU), 8-4
No. 2 Cedric De Zutter/Glennon (MEMPHIS) def. Mullis/Salibasic (DU), 8-5
No. 3 Frost/Patel (DU) vs. Chadwell/Grimal (MEMPHIS), 7-5 unfinished
Order of Finish: 1,2