DENVER, CO –The men’s and women’s tennis teams competed in the Summit League Championship this past weekend. Both squads lost in the first round, with the men falling to Denver 4-0 and the women losing a closely contested match to UMKC 4-3.
The men got off to a rough start to the Pioneers, dropping the doubles point in under 30 minutes. Gerhald Sullwald and Cian McDonnell lost 6-1 at the first position and Johnatan Parat and Lucas Percy fell 6-1 at the 2-position giving Denver the point. The 3 doubles match remained unfinished.
The Pioneers continued their strong performance into singles play, quickly picking up singles victory at the 1 and 6 positions. Sullwald lost in the top position to the 94 ranked James Davis 6-2 6-1 and Petro Alex lost at 6 to Denver’s Ignacio Crespo 6-1 6-1 putting UD up 3-0.
The Hawks began to make things competitive on courts 3 and 4 with McDonnell dropping a close first set 5-7 on court 3 and Edmound Aynedjian winning the first set 6-4. It wasn’t enough, however, as Percy lost 6-4 6-2 on court 5 giving Denver the win 4-0 and ending North Dakota’s Summit League run. This was the first time in program history that the men’s tennis team had made a postseason appearance.
The Hawks began the Summit League Tournament by capturing the doubles point. Sapir Sela and Andrea Jansson won 6-2 at the 1 spot and Allie Ochoterena and Nina Zdravkovic prevailed 6-1 at the 2 spot putting UND up 1-0. 3 doubles remained unfinished with North Dakota leading 4-3.
The Roos responded in singles play, quickly winning at the 2 position over Ochoterenca 6-0 6-3 to even up the score 1-1. Kansas City’s Yana Grechkina defeated Sela at the 1 spot 6-2 6-4 to take the lead 2-1.
Jansson and Zdravkovic kept UND in the match-winning at the 3 and 5 positions respectively. Jansson defeated UMKC’s Riddhi Sharma 6-2 6-3 and Zdravkovic topped Grace Ball 6-4 6-4 putting North Dakota back on top 3-2 and 1 win away from the conference finals.
UMKC tied it up after Michela Xibilia defeated UND’s Kaede Amano 5-7 6-3 6-4 to even up the match 3-3. Kansas City closed out the match at the 6 position, Ana Timoeyeva defeated Isabella Sullivan 4-6 6-4 6-3 giving Kansas City the win 4-3.
This concluded the Hawks 2020-2021 season. They will retake the court next Spring for the 2021-2022 season.
Alex Mailes is a Dakota Student Sports Writer. He can be reached at [email protected]