DES MOINES, Iowa – Bradley gained the early advantage against No. 27 Drake, but the host Bulldogs (23-2, 5-0 MVC) recovered in time to earn a 5-2 win against the Braves (14-10, 1-4 MVC) in the regular-season finale for both teams Sunday afternoon at the Roger Knapp Tennis Center.
Drake secured the No. 1 seed for next week’s Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Tennis Championship, while Bradley will be the No. 5 seed, setting up a matchup against fourth-seeded Interstate 74 rival Illinois State in Friday’s first round at Wichita State’s Sheldon Coleman Tennis Complex.
Bradley took a 1-0 lead by winning two of the three doubles matches, pulling out a pair of 8-6 decisions at both the Nos. 2 and 3 positions. After the teams split the first two doubles matches, the No. 2 Bradley combo of Ahmed Albitar and Ashton Kalhorn won the deciding match.
“It was really impressive how we took the doubles point,” said Bradley head coach Jesse Plote. “I thought we really did a good job of putting the pressure on the No. 27 team in the country. Going into singles play, we gave ourselves an opportunity against a great team and gave the type of effort that we need every time we step onto the court.”
While Drake pulled ahead, 2-1, by winning the first two singles matches to finish, junior Justin Abrams briefly pulled the Braves back even by earning a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 5 singles. The Bulldogs won the final three singles matches, however, to complete an undefeated conference season and earn their sixth consecutive win overall.
BRADLEY MEN’S TENNIS MATCH SUMMARIES
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Des Moines, Iowa | Roger Knapp Tennis Center
at #27 Drake 5, Bradley 2
1. Lott/McKie (DU) def. Cuadrado/Weerasinghe (BU) 8-4
2. Albitar/Kalhorn (BU) def. Goodman/Mullis (DU) 8-6
3. Abrams/Romanet (BU) def. Drake/Erasmus (DU) 8-6
Order of Finish: 3,1,2
1. James McKie (DU) def. Juan Diego Cuadrado (BU) 6-1, 6-3
2. Jean Erasmus (DU) def. Ahmed Albitar (BU) 6-4, 7-5
3. Ben Mullis (DU) def. Hamish Weerasinghe (BU) 7-6 (4), 6-1
4. Ben Lott (DU) def. Ashton Kalhorn (BU) 6-1, 6-2
5. Justin Abrams (BU) def. Grant Tesmer (DU) 6-4, 6-3
6. Ryan Drake (DU) def. Kevin Keiner (BU) 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish: 4,1,5,6,2,3
Bradley (14-10, 1-4 MVC)
#27 Drake (23-2, 5-0 MVC)