Lions Battle, But Fall Short At NCAA Tournament
Saint Leo Drops Opening NCAA South Region Match
BOCA RATON, Fla. – The No.27 Saint Leo men's tennis team (14-11) was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament action on Sunday, dropping the opening match of the NCAA South Region competition, 5-0, Sunday afternoon from the Perper Tennis Complex in Boca Raton, Fla.
The Lions, competing in their first team NCAA Championships, fell in each of their three doubles matches before dropping competitive matches at No.1 and No.2 singles.
A bit sluggish out of the gate, the Lions saw the Fighting Knights claim an early 3-0 lead. Going up against a pair of top-10 doubles teams, the Lions' dup of Aloua Adjenak and Jose Morales posted the closest score as they were nipped by the ninth-ranked tandem of Willi Wolfer and Luca Pavanelli, 8-5.
Meanwhile, No.24 Matt Nicholson-Lewis and Victor Lozier fell to No.8 Vlad Cirla and Alessandro Sarra, 8-4.
However, a reenergized Saint Leo squad pushed the fifth-ranked Fighting Knights to the edge in nearly every singles contest.
Unfortunately for the Lions' faithful in attendance, the Green & Gold found themselves on the backend of a pair of near miss victories as Lynn's Wolfer and Cirla skated by with 6-4, 6-3 and 6-4, 6-2 wins at No.1 and No.2.
Still, before the conclusion of the match, Tom Gleeson earned a first set win over Banjo Kendall while Pablo Chavez found himself with a 5-2 advantage in the second set against Luca Pavanelli.
Jose Morales owned a 4-1 lead over George Laffey in the second set, whereas Adjenak was clipped in his first set, 7-5, despite owning a 5-3 lead over No.16 Sarra.
Saint Leo concludes their most successful season since 1988 with a record of 14-11.
Stay up-to-date to SaintLeoLions.com for end of season wrap-ups, as well as video highlights from the team's first NCAA nod.