Men's Tennis Wins Fourth NEC Championship With 4-3 Victory Over No. 1 Sacred Heart
WEST WINDSOR, N.J. - Charlie Feldman (Easton, Conn.) won the final two sets of his No. 6 singles match to clinch the Quinnipiac University men's tennis team's fourth Northeast Conference Championship in the last seven years, Sunday afternoon at Mercer County Tennis Center. The third-seeded Bobcats won four of six singles flights to come from behind for the 4-3 victory over top-seeded Sacred Heart after dropping the doubles point. John Hughes (Springfield, Mass.), Garrett Lane (Reading, Mass.) and James Kwei (Dedham, Mass.) also earned singles victories as the Bobcats improved to 10-4 on the season. The Pioneers finish at 16-8.
The Bobcats now await their NCAA Tournament opponent and destination, to be announced May 4, between 5-6 p.m. on ESPN News.
"I'm extremely pleased with my men coming from behind by working diligently to get the job done," said Quinnipiac Head Coach Mike Quitko. "We faced a very well-coached, talented team in Sacred Heart, which gave us quite a battle. It took a group effort to pull this one out and I'm very proud of my men for doing so."
For the second straight match, the Bobcats avenged a regular-season loss with a 4-3 victory. After falling to the Pioneers by a 4-3 margin in Hamden just over a week ago on April 10, the Bobcats snapped back with the 4-3 victory today. Quinnipiac also got back at Fairleigh Dickinson yesterday with a 4-3 victory. The Bobcats fell to the Knights on March 31, 4-1.
The Pioneers took the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and 3. Feldman and Dillon Kraus (Bayside, N.Y.) were defeated by Kirill Kasyanov and Nick Mazzarese, 8-3, while Hughes and Andrew Weeden (Martinsville, N.J.) fell to Chris Ujkic and Cole Conrad by the same margin. The No. 1 doubles match between the Bobcats' Brian Mikkelson (Mequon, Wis.) and Kwei and the Pioneers' Adam Gart and Michael Syer was halted on serve, with the Pioneers holding the 5-4 edge.
Hughes knotted the match at 1-1 with a 6-1, 6-0, victory over Ujkic at No. 2. Sacred Heart countered quickly when Kasyanov bested Mikkelson, 6-3, 6-0, at No. 1. Again, the Bobcats pulled even at 2-2 when Kwei overmatched Syer at No. 5, 6-3, 6-4. True to form, the Pioneers took a 3-2 lead on Gart's 7-5, 6-2, victory over Weeden at No. 3.
Lane once again knotted the match, this time at 3-3, taking his No. 4 match against Mazzarese, 6-4, 7-6.
After falling in the first set with his career in the balance, the senior Feldman battled past Chadd Sullo in the second and third sets at No. 6 singles to clinch the match with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-1, victory.