DEKALB, IL - UB men's tennis' season came to an end on Friday as they fell to Ball State in the semifinals of the 2016 MAC Championships, 4-2. The Bulls won the critical doubles point, but couldn't get past a tough Cardinals lineup in singles play.
As mentioned, Buffalo earned the doubles point with wins at second and third doubles. Sergio Arevalillo and Ethan Nittolo defeated their opponents at second doubles, 6-3, while Akhil Mehta and Tony Miller earned a 6-4 win at third doubles.
The match came down to third and fifth singles with the Cardinals leading 3-2 overall. UB had the opportunity to close the gap with both matches in a critical third set. Yet, Ball State's Nemanja Guzina defeated Amar Hromic, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4, to clinch the match and advance the third seeded Cardinals into the finals against first seeded Western Michigan.
Akhil Mehta earned the Bulls lone singles victory at fourth singles, 6-2, 6-2, over Patrick Downs. Ethan Nittolo forced a third set at fifth singles after dropping the first set. His match went unfinished after the Cardinals clinched Friday's match, 4-2.
"Although we didn't get the result we wanted today, I am very proud of the guys for their hard work and effort this season," head coach Lee Nickell said following the heartbreaking 4-2 loss. "We owe so much to these seniors, and Coach Shkodnik and I are so appreciative of their four years of heart and soul they gave this program. We now look to the future and will work tirelessly to get back to the championship next year."
Buffalo's season comes to a close after Friday's semifinals loss. Their streak of making the MAC Championship finals match ends at two and three in the last four years.
1. Stutz/C. Andersen (BSU) def. Hromic/Alvarez (UB), 6-3
2. Arevalillo/Nittolo (UB) def. L. Andersen/Downs (BSU), 6-3
3. Mehta/Miller (UB) def. Helm/M. Guzina (BSU), 6-4
1. Lucas Andersen (BSU) def. Sergio Arevalillo (UB), 7-6, 6-3
2. Andrew Stutz (BSU) def. Pablo Alvarez (UB), 6-2, 6-3
3. Nemanja Guzina (BSU) def. Amar Hromic (UB), 2-6, 7-6, 6-4
4. Akhil Mehta (UB) def. Patrick Downs (BSU), 6-2, 6-2
5. Ethan Nittolo (UB) vs. Conner Andersen (BSU), unfinished, 6-7, 7-5, 5-3
6. Marko Guzina (BSU) def. Tony Miller (UB), 6-1, 6-2