Drake Captures MVC Championship And NCAA Tournament Berth Downing Wichita State, 4-0
NORMAL, Ill. – The Drake men’s tennis team captured its eighth NCAA Tournament berth in program history after the Bulldogs (22-5) won the Missouri Valley Conference Championship on Sunday (April 27) with a 4-0 victory over Wichita State (18-9).
“We have had this moment in the back of our minds all season long,” Drake head coach Davidson Kozlowski commented. “Losing in a heartbreaker last season in the finals kept us focused and fueled our motivation for the past 12 months. After a hard fought doubles point, our boys quickly seized control of the match by winning five first sets. We took care of business today and grabbed the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament taking the computers out of the equation. Now we will wait and see where we are headed for our first round when the pairings are announced on Tuesday.”
The Bulldogs and Shockers split decisions on the Nos. 1 and 2 doubles courts to set the stage for a winner-take-all showdown for the doubles tally at No. 3.
Juniors Matt Frost (Cambridge, England) and Ravi Patel (London, England) garnered the point for Drake earning a 7-4 triumph over Jocelyn Devilliers and Ibian Hodgson in the tiebreaker. The win gave the tandem an 8-7 (4) victory and more importantly the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead entering singles play.
Junior Ben Mullis (Leicestershire, England) extended the Bulldogs’ lead to 2-0 opening singles downing Hodgson at the No. 6 spot, 6-0, 6-1.
Patel followed with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph past Devilliers at the No. 5 position to stretch Drake’s advantage to 3-0.
It then came down to a battle between Frost and senior Robin Goodman (Cambridge, England) to see who would punch the Bulldogs’ sixth MVC Championship title and eighth NCAA Tournament appearance with a victory.
Fittingly, it was Goodman that catapulted Drake into the NCAA Tournament dispatching Guillermo Nicol on the No. 3 court, 6-3, 6-2.
Frost was leading his tilt with Guillermo de Vilchez at No. 4, 6-3, 5-3, when play was halted.
The Bulldogs will find out their NCAA Tournament destination on Tuesday (April 29) when the 64-team field is revealed at 4:00 p.m. CT on NCAA.com.
NO. 39 DRAKE (22-5) DEF. WICHITA STATE (18-9), 4-0
APRIL 27, 2014 • NORMAL, ILL.
No. 1 No. 71 Alen Salibasic (DU) leading Tin Ostojic (WSU), 7-5, 1-1 unfinished
No. 2 Ben Lott (DU) vs. Tomislav Gregurovic (WSU), 4-6, 6-1 unfinished
No. 3 Robin Goodman (DU) def. Guillermo Nicol (WSU), 6-3, 6-2
No. 4 Matt Frost (DU) leading Guillermo de Vilchez (WSU), 6-3, 5-3 unfinished
No. 5 Ravi Patel (DU) def. Jocelyn Devilliers (WSU), 6-3, 6-1
No. 6 Ben Mullis (DU) def. Ibian Hodgson (WSU), 6-0, 6-1
Order of finish: 6,5,3
No. 1 No. 84 Goodman/Lott (DU) def. Gregurovic/Ostojic (WSU), 8-5
No. 2 Nicol/de Vilchez (WSU) def. Mullis/Salibasic (DU), 8-5
No. 3 Frost/Patel (DU) def. Devilliers/Hodgson (WSU), 8-7 (4)
Order of finish: 1,2,3