MVC Champions - Drake Downs Bradley, 5-2
DES MOINES, Iowa – Four years ago senior Jean Erasmus (Windhoek, Namibia) came to Des Moines having never seen snow and knowing very little about what makes Drake so special, but as his home career came to an end on Sunday (April 21), it was only fitting that he clinched the third consecutive Missouri Valley Conference regular season title for the 27th-rated Drake men’s tennis team in a 5-2 triumph past Bradley at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.
The senior class of Erasmus, Ryan Drake (Hilton Head Island, S.C.), Anis Ghorbel (Sfax, Tunisia) and James McKie (Edinburgh, Scotland) ended their careers with a home record of 41-2, including wins in their last 32 home contests.
The Bulldogs now enter next week’s MVC Championship as the tournament’s No. 1 seed and will begin their quest for Drake’s seventh NCAA Tournament berth on Saturday (April 27) in Wichita, Kan.
The Bulldogs didn’t make their quest for the regular season title easy versus the Braves as Bradley captured victories at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions to claim the doubles point.
A bit of history occurred at No. 1 doubles where McKie paired with freshman Ben Lott (Newcastle, England) to earn an 8-4 triumph against Juan Diego Cuadrado and Hamish Weerasinghe. The victory was the 200th in the career of McKie, making him only the fourth Bulldog to reach the 200-win plateau.
Lott evened the affair at one opening singles with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Ashton Kalhorn at the No. 4 slot.
McKie provided Drake’s its initial lead in the affair, 2-1, after downing Cuadrado at No. 1, 6-1, 6-3.
The Braves registered a win at No. 5 before Drake dispatched Kevin Keiner at the No. 6 position, 6-4, 6-3, to put the Bulldogs ahead to stay, 3-2.
Erasmus sealed the triumph on the strength of a 6-4, 7-5 triumph past Ahmed Albitar on the No. 2 court.
Sophomore Ben Mullis (Leicestershire, England) closed out the victory total for Drake with a 7-6 (4), 6-1 win at No. 3.
NO. 27 DRAKE (23-2, 5-0 MVC) DEF. BRADLEY (14-10 OVERALL, 1-4 MVC), 5-2
APRIL 21, 2013 • ROGER KNAPP TENNIS CENTER
No. 1 James McKie (DU) def. Juan Diego Cuadrado (BU), 6-1, 6-3
No. 2 Jean Erasmus (DU) def. Ahmed Albitar (BU), 6-4, 7-5
No. 3 Ben Mullis (DU) def. Hamish Weerasinghe (BU), 7-6 (4), 6-1
No. 4 Ben Lott (DU) def. Ashton Kalhorn (BU), 6-1, 6-2
No. 5 Justin Abrams (BU) def. Grant Tesmer (DU), 6-3, 6-2
No. 6 Ryan Drake (DU) def. Kevin Keiner (BU), 6-4, 6-3
Order of finish: 4,1,5,6,2,3
No. 1 Ben Lott/McKie (DU) def. Cuadrado/Weerasinghe (BU), 8-4
No. 2 Albitar/Kalhorn (BU) Robin Goodman/Mullis (DU), 8-6
No. 2 Abrams/Romanet (BU) def. Drake/Erasmus (DU), 8-6
Order of finish: 3,1,2