Atlanta, Ga. - The N.C. Wesleyan men's tennis team suffered a 5-1 loss to #2 Emory University on Saturday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament hosted by the Eagles. While the team ends its dual season with a program record 20 wins (20-5), junior Sebastian Sikh wiill continue play in the NCAA Division III Singles Championships on May 25th.
The Eagles (18-4) tallied the first point of the match with an 8-4 win at #2 doubles, but Wesleyan countered with a 9-7 victory by J.D. Telles and David Appelqvist at #3. Perhaps the most pivotal point of the match then followed at the top seed. Emory's Scott Rubinstein/James Spaulding and Wesleyan's Sikh/Ioannis Brokakis battled to an 8-8 tie to force a tiebreak, with the winner giving their team a 2-1 advantage heading into singles action. Unfortunately, the Emory duo posted a 7-3 win in the tiebreak to steal the point with the 9-8 victory.
The Bishops did not recover from there, and Emory was able to tally straight-set singles wins at seeds 3, 4, and 5 to clinch the match and halt play. The loss marks the seventh season that the Eagles have eliminated Wesleyan from NCAA play, although the Bishops continue to make strides nationally with nine straight tournament appearances.
With the dual season completed, Sikh will now continue his pursuit of the program's first national title. The individual championships consist of 32 singles players, with the selection based on win-loss record and strength of schedule. Play begins on May 25th at The Champions Tennis Club in Chattanooga, Tenn. and will be hosted by the University of the South and the Chattanooga Sports Commission. This marks Sikh's second career selection. The Eskilstuna, Sweden native last appeared as in doubles play during a freshman season that saw him finish as National Runner-Up.
Please continue to check www.ncwcsports.com for updated information.