VALDOSTA, Ga. – Point University men's tennis fought hard in Valdosta in the NCCAA Championship match against the rain, wind, and against the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish. After everything, the matches were close, but it was day where the Skyhawks just never got the door closed on the tough opponent. In the end, playing to decision, they lost the championship match 5-0.
The Skyhawks (13-12), all freshmen eligibility wise, will be back on this stage again and "that's exciting" said head coach Doug Carter. He continued, "We learned so much this year in every match and tournament. I think our guys learned about themselves and learned about being a good team. They can push themselves harder and push each other in a more positive way, while not breaking. We'll be better in the future and we're all excited to be able to do great things for Point. Congrats to PBA, they are a great team!"
Point fell behind in doubles 3-0, though the Skyhawks played good, the speed and power of the Sailfish players allowed them to take advantage of floating balls and put them away as the points progressed. Carter explained, "With nearly every team we have played this year, we have seen international players throughout the rosters, and then the experience these players have on us has been tough to overcome yet we have ended with a winning record." Zach Sheeler (Thomasville, Ga – FR) and Daniel Blanchard (Peachtree City, Ga – FR) continued their great doubles play in the last few months (combined for 18 total doubles wins this year). The dynamic duo couldn't pull off the win this day as the Sailfish team of Battistini and Reifler held them off 8-5, but they have developed into a great team for the future.
In singles, great matches were played by Rafa Hewett (Lewiston, Id – FR) on court one against Romain Nowaczyk. All-conference selection, Rafa battled back and forth before falling to the D2 competition 7-5, 6-2. Team captain, Ben Markowski (El Paso, Tex – SO) played the #47 ranked singles player in NCAA division 2, Nicolas Uryson, on court two. Markowski worked to establish himself in the points, but Uryson had too many weapons, losing in the end 6-2, 6-3. Blanchard again was working hard to get his teammates going on court four against Asti Adams, taking the first set 6-4 before Adams got things going to take set two 6-3 and then the final tiebreaker 10-6 to win the match.
Point does have an outside chance at an at-large bid into the NCCAA National Tournament in Mobile, Ala. in May and will get the word on that later this week.
Tennis Match Results
Apr 19, 2014 at Valdosta, GA
PALM BEACH ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY - MEN 5, POINT UNIVERSITY - MEN 0
1. Romain Nowaczyk (PBA-M) def. Rafa Hewett (POI-M) 7-5, 6-2
2. #47 Nicolas Uryson (PBA-M) def. Ben Markowski (POI-M) 6-2, 6-3
3. Mark Heimberger (PBA-M) def. Zach Sheeler (POI-M) 6-0, 6-3
4. Asti Adams (PBA-M) def. Daniel Blanchard (POI-M) 4-6, 6-3, 10-6
5. Nicholas Battistini (PBA-M) def. Andrew Hays (POI-M) 6-3, 6-4
6. Matt Leeds (PBA-M) def. Alonso Trevizo (POI-M) 6-2, 6-0
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,3,2,5,1,4)
NCCAA Regional Championship