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LWC Men's Tennis falls to Keiser in NAIA Semifinals

By Chris Wells

Mobile, AL - Lindsey Wilson men's tennis' Cinderella run ended today with a 4-0 loss to No. 2-ranked Keiser (FL) in the NAIA National Championships semifinals at the Mobile Tennis Center.

The semifinal appearance ties the best-ever finish for the Blue Raider men -- who conclude their season with a 19-2 record. Before today's setback, Lindsey Wilson upset No. 6-ranked Indiana Wesleyan in the second round on Wednesday and No. 3-ranked Middle Georgia in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

No. 11-seed Lindsey Wilson faced a daunting task today against Keiser. Five of the top-six Seahawks were ranked in the NAIA's top-26 singles players while two of the three doubles teams were nationally ranked.

The Seahawks (18-1) snagged the doubles point winning at the No. 1 and No. 3 seeded matches.

Olivier Koeng and Riccardo Ferraris won first in the third-seeded match with a 6-0 win over Tiago Almeida and Aleksa Ciric. Toru Horie and Geromino Barrios -- ranked as the second-best doubles team in the NAIA this season -- claimed the doubles point with a 6-2 win over Steven Espinoza and Nicolas Torrealba in the top-seeded match.

The Seahawks needed just three singles matches to win the team match and advance to the national championship match on Saturday with top-seeded Georgia Gwinnett.

Fred Oervad -- ranked 24th in the NAIA in singles -- defeated Espinoza 6-3, 6-2 in the fourth-seeded singles match to extend the Seahawk lead to 2-0. Bart Nouws, who is the only unranked Seahawk in the lineup, claimed a 6-3, 6-3 over Anatoliy Voloshyn in the No. 6-seeded match to push Keiser on the brink of the win.

Espinoza concludes the season with a 10-4 singles mark while Voloshyn finishes with an 11-3 singles record.

Horie won the decisive point for the Seahawks with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Silhavy in the second-seeded match. The match was one of three matches featuring ranked opponents. Horie -- ranked No. 7 in the NAIA -- handed the 48th-ranked Silhavy just his second loss of the season in his 17 singles matches.

The remainder of the matches were stopped once the Seahawks earned the four points.

No. 39-ranked Aleksa Ciric split the first two sets in his match with 19th-ranked Barrios in the third-seeded match while Camilo Erazo -- ranked 36th in the NAIA -- and Almeida each were down a set when play was halted.

Erazo -- who finished the season 11-2 in singles -- was matched up against the top-ranked singles player in the NAIA. Erazo concludes his career with a 38-9 singles record.

The Blue Raiders finish the season as Mid-South Conference regular-season and tournament champions and a national semifinalist.

This story was posted on 2021-05-21 19:36:41
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