Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's tennis team is one step away from sweeping the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) regular-season and tournament championships as the Bulldogs advanced to the league tourney title match with a 5-1 semifinal win over Wayne State on Saturday (April 25) in Midland.
The top-seeded Bulldogs, who won the league regular-season championship last week, will now advance to the tourney title match and square off against rival Northwood on Sunday (April 26) starting at 8:15 a.m. (ET) at the Midland Community Tennis Center.
In Saturday's semifinal win over the fourth-seeded Warriors, the Bulldogs took two of the three doubles flights and then sealed the win by taking the first three completed singles matches at the second, third and fourth spots in the lineup. All three of the singles triumphs came in straight-sets.
Ferris State had one double winner on the day as Roger Hernandez Pena was victorious at both third doubles and third singles in the FSU lineup.
FSU, which won its first outright conference regular-season championship since 1994 this year, had previously received a first-round bye and faced Wayne State in its first league tourney match. The six-team league tournament is being held at the Midland Community Tennis Center.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs will face third-seeded Northwood, which upset second-seeded Grand Valley State by a 5-4 count in the semifinal round.
Prior to this year, Northwood had won the last 20 regular-season crowns in a row dating back to 1995, including a share of the title with FSU in 1999. Either Northwood or Ferris State have won the GLIAC Regular-Season Championship every year since 1982. The two schools shared the crown in 1982 before FSU had a 12-year run as the outright champion prior to the NU stretch.
The Bulldogs, who are currently ranked third in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Regional Rankings, improved to 17-5 overall record with Saturday's win and were a perfect 9-0 in regular-season action.
Three years ago, in 2012, Ferris State claimed its first GLIAC Tournament Championship since 1999 with a stunning 5-4 triumph over Northwood in the title match. FSU previously finished as the runner-up to Northwood seven consecutive seasons from 2000-06 and then placed fifth in 2006-07, fourth in 2007-08 and were third overall in 2008-09 before also finishing third in 2010-11. NU most recently topped the Bulldogs 5-2 in the 2013 GLIAC Tourney title match before FSU took fourth place in 2014.
The GLIAC Tournament represents the Bulldogs' final competition until an expected berth into the NCAA Division II Tournament. The NCAA Division II men's tennis selection show is Tuesday, April 29, at 8:30 p.m. (ET) with a live stream of the selection show available at NCAA.com. FSU will also hold a live selection show watch gathering at the Wheeler Pavilion on the FSU campus starting prior to the women's selection show at 8 p.m. (ET).
Below are the complete match results:
Ferris State 5 | Wayne State 1
#1 Galarneau/Dial (FS) def. Keating/Charriere (WS) 8-2
#2 Menta/Kechai (WS) def. Surduk/Bridges (FS) 8-5
#3 Hernandez/Grabovic (FS) def. Carlson/Reed (WS) 8-1
#2 Surduk (FS) def. Charriere (WS) 6-1, 6-1
#3 Hernandez (FS) def. Keating (WS) 6-4, 6-4
#4 Bridges (FS) def. Menta (WS) 6-1, 6-2