Men's Tennis Drops Regional Final 5-3 to Johns Hopkins

JP Vallejo, courtesy of Carl Lewis
JP Vallejo, courtesy of Carl Lewis

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ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. - The region's 2nd ranked NC Wesleyan College Men's Tennis team fell 5-3 to #5 Johns Hopkins University (MD) in the Regional Final of the NCAA Tournament at home on Saturday from the Vernon T. Bradley Tennis Complex.

The loss ended the Bishops' 21-match win streak as they finish their dual season 21-3 as this was their first loss vs a DIII opponent all season. However, they will still be sending their top three players (senior Roberto Puig, and juniors JP Vallejo and Jhonny Acosta) to the individual NCAA Tournament from May 28-30 in Chattanooga, TN.

JHU (10-0) got off to a 2-1 lead after doubles winning at the #2 and #3 spots, 8-5 and 8-3 respectively while Wesleyan's national-tournament bound #1 doubles team of Vallejo and Acosta defated their foes 8-5.

After Puig and Vallejo fell in straight sets at the #1 and #2 spots to give the Blue Jays a 4-1 advantage, the Bishops rallied back with wins in the #6 and #5 spots. Freshman Valentin Mussi won his match 6-1, 7-5 at the 6 spot while sophomore Augusto Roca ousted his foe 6-4, 6-4 at #5 to move the Bishops to within one point at 3-4.

True freshman John Falke then battled cramping throughout his match and fought back from a set down to win the second 6-1 and lead 5-4 in the third. However, junior Acosta then dropped  a hard-fought first set tiebreaker 8-6 to lose the first set 6-7 before his foe reeled off the final four games of the match to take it 6-2 and clinch the Elite Eight berth for JHU.