2018 Men's Tennis
Record: 0-0 Home: 0-0 Away: 0-0 AAC: 0-0
Point News
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Left to Right: Asad Siyyid (#1 singles; #2 doubles); Kyle Howell (#6 singles; #3 doubles); and Steven Tracy (#5 singles; #2 d
Bluefield College
Men's Tennis - Fri, Apr. 28, 2017

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Point University men's tennis (14-8) won at number one and two doubles and number one, five and six singles and edged Bluefield College (6-8) by a score of 5-4 in a quarterfinal match at the Appalachian Athletics Conference Men's Tennis Championships, Friday, April 28, at the Champions Tennis Club in Chattanooga, Tenn.


With the team score tied at 4-4, sophomore Kyle Howell (Guyton, GA) clinched the victory for the Skyhawks with a three-set thriller at number six singles.  "It was a tough situation for Kyle to be in with all eyes on him, but he came up clutch, executing the game plan to come up with the win," commented head coach Chad SimpsonHowell (10-13) lost set one to Yaroslav Hnatusko, 6-3, and trailed in set two, 1-0,  but rallied and won set two, 6-3, and set three, 6-1.


Seeded number four in the tournament, Point, which is receiving votes in the NAIA National Top 25 Coaches' Poll, now advances to an ACC semifinal match for the first time in its men's tennis program history.  The Skyhawks meet number one-seeded Reinhardt University, which ranks number 15 in the NAIA National poll, Saturday, April 29, at 2 p.m., in Chattanooga.  Reinhardt defeated Milligan College, 5-0, in its quarterfinal match.  The tournament championship match will be played at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 30.


Head coach Chad Simpson exclaimed, "Fantastic doubles matches on all three courts today!  We love starting singles with at least a 2-1 advantage."  Point's number one doubles pair, senior co-captains Daniel Blanchard (Peachtree City, GA) and Rafa Hewett (Lewiston, ID) defeated Markel Aranberri and Fedor Kulakov at number one doubles, 8-6.  Hewett and Blanchard are 15-4 together in doubles this season.


At number two doubles, sophomores Asad Siyyid (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and Steven Tracy (Saint Simons Island, GA) defeated Bluefield's Michael Gutu and Rodrigo Huarachi, 8-2.  Siyyid and Tracy are 9-5 together this season.


Bluefield claimed a team point at number three doubles when Hnatusko and Tanaka Rushwaya emerged victorious from a lengthy match against Point's Alonso Trevizo (SR/El Paso, TX) and Kyle HowellBluefield won the tiebreaker 7-4 and the super set, 9-8.


"We needed all six singles guys fighting and giving it their all for the team," said Coach Simpson.  "Today it was Asad (Siyyid) and Steven (Tracy) who cruised with straight-set victories to put us in the place to win the team match.  

Siyyid (17-11) led Bluefield's Markel Aranberri, 6-4, 5-2, at number one singles when Aranberri defaulted due to injury, giving Point a 3-1 lead.  Tracy (15-15) defeated Rushwaya, 6-0 in set one and 7-6 in set two, winning a 7-3 tiebreaker to decide the number five singles match.  Point led 4-1 but still needed one more team point to win the team score.


Bluefield tied the match, 4-4, with three-set wins at number two and three singles and a straight-set win at number four.  Gutu won for Bluefield over Hewett (19-13) at number two singles, 6-3, 4-6, and 6-1, and Kulakov defeated Blanchard (14-10) at number three singles, 6-2, 0-6, and 6-2.  Huarachi won 6-1, 6-4, over Trevizo (9-7) at number four singles, setting up Howell's heroics at number six.


Howell commented after perhaps the most important win in his career, "I did it for our seniors.  I just wanted them to get at least one more day to wear a Skyhawks' uniform."