GW Men's Tennis Downs Xavier for Second Straight Atlantic 10 Title
Colonials Earn Automatic Bid to NCAA Tournament with Conference Championship
April 15, 2012
The Colonials - whose first A-10 Championship came in 1979 - and the Musketeers matched up for the third time in as many years in the title match, with GW coming away victorious each of the past two seasons. With Sunday's championship, the Buff and Blue earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, set to begin on Friday, May 11.
"This is the best team I have ever coached," head coach Greg Munoz said. "It feels amazing to win the A-10 Championship as the fifth seed. I am so proud of how our guys faced adversity and fought so hard to win."
Knotted at 3-3, No. 2 singles proved to be the decisive match for the second day in a row. Senior Ugur Atalay, who clinched the semifinal upset of top-seeded
"In four years Ugur has never let me down and today was no different," said Munoz. "He and fellow senior Richard Blumenfeld showed tremendous maturity winning all of their matches in this tournament."
The Colonials fell behind 1-0 when they dropped the doubles point with losses at the Nos. 2 and 3 slots . Senior Richard Blumenfeld tied action up at 1-1 when he downed Marc Pretorius, 6-2, 6-3 in the No. 6 singles match. Sophomore Viktor Svensson regained the advantage for GW with a fifth-flight victory over Michael Moe by set scores of 7-6 (7), 6-1, and junior Alexander van Gils pushed the lead to 3-1 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Richard Canelas at No. 3.
Freshman Francisco Dias dropped a 6-4, 7-6 (6) decision to Jimmy Roebker in the No. 1 match, and junior Leonardo Lapentti fell to Brandon MacDonald, 6-2, 6-3, at the No. 4 spot. After falling behind a set, Atalay came through in the clutch with second and third set scores of 7-6 (5), 6-1.
"It feels great to win the title, especially as a senior," Atalay said. "We have such a strong team and we fought with our hearts and deserve this victory. Our journey isn't over, though, as we still have the NCAA tournament. I think we have the ability to compete against any team in the country."
GW (17-7) will compete in its second-ever NCAA Tournament with exact dates, opponent and site details yet to be determined. Check back to GWsports.com in the coming days for more information.