Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's tennis squad put up a valiant fight, but fell short in its quest to reach the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen as the Bulldogs suffered a 5-2 setback against nationally 13th-ranked Drury (Mo.) in the Midwest Regional final on Sunday (May 3) at Springfield, Mo.
The Panthers, who were seeded first in the region, took a 2-1 lead over the fourth-seeded Bulldogs following doubles play in one of the final match of one of the two Midwest Region four-team brackets. DU then claimed the victory by taking three of the first four completed singles contests with the first and third positions going unfinished in the third set.
FSU's day at DU's Cooper Tennis Complex was highlighted by the number one doubles combination of seniors Laurent Galarneau and Aaron Dial, who upset the nation's 11th-ranked Drury tandem of Maximilian Hepp and Jorge Nadal by an 8-3 score at the top flight in the lineup.
Ferris State also received a singles win from Vasil Surduk at the second flight in straight-sets while Galarneau held a lead in the third set of the number one singles flight and Roger Hernandez Pena was knotted up in the deciding set at the third flight when the match ended.
FSU, ranked 31st nationally, saw its season come to an end with a 18-7 overall record. The Bulldogs had advanced to the regional title match by beating fifth-seeded Southern Indiana by a 5-2 count on Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldog men's squad men's team, under third-year head coach Chad Berryhill, was making its first NCAA Tournament appearance in two years and its 19th overall trip to the NCAA's. The Bulldog women's team also advanced to the national tournament for the 20th time in school history, but fell to Indianapolis in the opening round by a 5-0 count.
The Bulldog men's team won this year's GLIAC Regular-Season Championship and finished as the runner-up in the league postseason tournament. This year's regular-season title marked FSU's first outright crown since 1994 and first regular-season championship since sharing the title in 1999. The Bulldog men were a perfect 9-0 in regular-season action. This year represented the 16th time in the last 18 seasons in which FSU has advanced to the NCAA Tournament and the Bulldogs also reached the regional final in their last appearance back in 2013.
With the win, Drury improved to 23-1 overall this campaign and moves on to the NCAA-II Sweet Sixteen set for May 13-16 in Suprise, Ariz.
Sunday's title match represented the final collegiate competition for a pair of Bulldog seniors in Galarneau and Dial, who together helped FSU to a league regular-season championship, conference tournament title and three NCAA appearances in their four seasons of action.
Below are the complete match results:
#13 Drury University 5, #31 Ferris State 2
May 03, 2015 at Springfield, MO (Cooper Tennis Complex)
|1. #36 Hepp, Maximilian (DU) vs. Laurent Galarneau (FS) 3-6, 6-4, 2-4, unfinished|
|2. Vasil Surduk (FS) def. Amato, Sebastien (DU) 6-3, 6-4|
|3. Sipos, Jakub (DU) vs. Roger Hernandez-Pena (FS) 6-2, 2-6, 3-3, unfinished|
|4. Ibsen, Christian (DU) def. Tyler Bridges (FS) 6-1, 6-3|
|5. Mourier, Sacha (DU) def. Zachary Grabovic (FS) 7-5, 4-6, 6-4|
|6. Nadal, Jorge (DU) def. Conner Hunt (FS) 6-1, 6-2|
|1. Laurent Galarneau/Aaron Dial (FS) def. #11 Hepp, Maximilian/Nadal, Jorge (DU) 8-3|
|2. Amato, Sebastien/Ibsen, Christian (DU) def. Vasil Surduk/Tyler Bridges (FS) 8-3|
|3. Minguez, Damien/Mourier, Sacha (DU) def. Roger Hernandez-Pena/Zachary Grabovic (FS) 8-3|