DES MOINES, Iowa - Establishing
the tone for the rest of the Missouri Valley Conference that the Drake men's
tennis team is the squad to beat in 2013, the Bulldogs captured a
league-record nine titles on the final day of the MVC Individuals on Sunday
(Jan. 20) at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.
The nine championships equaled the conference record for titles set by
Indiana State in 2002, while surpassing the school mark of eight, which was previously
established in 1993 and 2012.
In doubles, Drake garnered victories in each of its three semifinal
matches to advance its teams to their respective championship contests.
Freshman Ben Lott (Newcastle,
England) and sophomore Grant Tesmer
(Lincoln, Neb.) captured the Bulldogs' first title of the day in the No. 3
flight besting Michael Davis and Arthur Romanet of Bradley, 8-7 (3).
Providing Drake its second championship in the No. 2 draw was senior Jean Erasmus (Windhoek, Namibia) and
junior Robin Goodman (Cambridge,
England), who registered an 8-6 decision past Alvaro Gutierrez and Matheus
Pereira of Wichita State.
Senior James McKie
(Edinburgh, Scotland) and sophomore Alen Salibasic (Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina) attempted to make it a clean
sweep for the Bulldogs, but the tandem was forced into the tiebreaker at No. 1
where Alex Pelaez and Jakub Eisner of Illinois State posted an 8-7 (3) victory.
Goodman earned his second career MVC Individuals double crown, while Erasmus,
Lott and Tesmer collected the first doubles championships of their respective careers.
Turning in the Bulldogs' third title of the day at No. 5 singles was sophomore
Ben Mullis (Leicestershire, England),
who netted a 6-2, 6-2 triumph past Sean Mathison of Creighton.
Pulling in his second career singles crown was Goodman, who recorded a
6-2, 6-2 win over Erik Brunskog of Illinois State in the No. 2 draw.
Drake tallied its fifth championship at No. 3, where Salibasic edged
Ahmed Albitar of Bradley, 6-3, 6-3.
The title was the second in Salibasic's career.
Taking home the crown at No. 1 for his third career championship was
McKie, who avenged a preliminary round loss to Pereira of Wichita State, with a
6-3, 6-1 triumph.
Registering his third career singles title with a 6-4, 6-2 win past
Gutierrez from Wichita State was Erasmus at No. 4.
Lott provided Drake its eighth championship dispatching Rolando
Torrellas of Illinois State at No. 6, 6-3, 6-2.
Rounding out the victory total for the Bulldogs at No. 7 was Tesmer, who
earned his second title of the day besting Michael Sellitto of Illinois State,
Drake commences the dual portion of its schedule on Saturday (Jan. 26)
as the 45th-rated Bulldogs battle No. 35 Florida State at the Intercollegiate
Tennis Association (ITA) Kickoff Weekend in Malibu, Calif. Match time is slated for 3:00 p.m. CT.