#14 Bishop Tennis Drop 5-3 Heartbreaker to #3 Tufts in Sweet 16

Jhonny Acosta
Jhonny Acosta

ANNAPOLIS, MD - The 14th ranked NC Wesleyan University men's tennis team dropped a very close 5-3 match to Tufts University (Mass.) in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament Regional from the Brigade Sports Complex at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Tufts will now advance to the Final 8 of the NCAA Tennis Championships to be held next weekend in Orlando. The Bishops finish their season with the most wins in school history with 29 while they only lost two matches to Div. III opponents all year as well as their fourth consecutive trip to the Sweet 16.  

In the Regional Final on Sunday, the Bishops gained a 2-1 lead after the trio of doubles matches as the team of sophomore John Falke and senior JP Vallejo dominated at the #3 spot winning 8-5 while the 9th ranked senior doubles team of Max Robinson and Roberto Puig then pulled out a thrilling tiebreaker 7-2 to take the 8-7 win at the second spot. However the top doubles team of senior Jhonny Acosta and freshman Diego Segovia unfortunately lost 8-4 at the top line.

In the singles matches, Wesleyan only received one win as freshman Luca Knese rallied from a set down to win 6-7, 6-1, 6-4 at the #5 spot. Tufuts, however, would take a 4-3 lead receiving wins from their top player at the #1 spot as he outlasted third ranked Acosta 6-2, 6-7, 6-4. Vallejo also dropped his bout 6-1, 6-0 at the #2 spot while Falke could not win a third set tiebreaker in losing 1-6, 6-2, 6-7 (1-7 in the tiebreak) as Tufts built their lead.

Then, as freshman Diego Segovia was rallying in his match to possibly send it to a deciding third set down 4-6, 5-5...senior Roberto Puig was again finding himself entrenched in another 3-set barnburner for the second straight day. Puig would drop the first set 7-5 before winning 6-3 in the second. He then dropped a tough tiebreaker in the third set 7-4 to fall 7-6 as Tufts would clinch the Elite 8 berth.