Chad Hensley, NKU Sports Information
Men vs. USI results | Women vs. USI results | Women vs. RU results
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Disappointment was the theme of the day for the Northern Kentucky University men’s and women’s tennis programs as each team saw their chances of a Great Lakes Valley Conference Tennis Championship fall by the wayside on Friday.
The NKU women’s team lost in the semifinals to Rockhurst University by a 5-0 final while the men’s team lost a 5-4 heartbreaker to the University of Southern Indiana in the first round at the Dwight David Tennis Center.
The women (18-7), who were the No. 2 seed in the tournament, won their first round matchup on Friday morning over Southern Indiana by a 5-1 margin before dropping their match to Rockhurst during the afternoon hours on Friday.
In the USI match, NKU jumped out to an early 2-1 lead after getting doubles victories from the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles flights. Kristen Sunday and Michelle Schirmann downed Katie Jo Clagg and Gretchen Cantwell 8-3 in the second doubles flight while Jenny Hand and Ivana Misic took an 8-3 decision of their own over Jennie LaBonte and Emily Schum in the third doubles flight.
Sunday and fellow teammate Stephanie Isaacs were named to the All-GLVC Team on Thursday.
Following the doubles play, it would be all NKU as Sunday, Hand, and Maggie Koetter all used blowout victories to clinch the match for the Norse. Sunday defeated Reilly Ackerman (6-0, 6-0), Hand cruised by Clagg (6-1, 6-1), and Koetter dominated Jodie Petty (6-0, 6-1).
After a break for the men’s semifinals to play out, the women’s team was back in action against a Rockhurst team they had narrowly defeated 5-4 on April 4. This time the Norse weren’t quite so lucky as the Hawks dominated the early going and soared past NKU 5-0 and into the GLVC title match against top-seeded Drury University. Drury defeated Bellarmine University by a 5-0 final to reach the pinnacle match of the GLVC tournament.
Rockhurst (18-9) stormed out to an early 3-0 lead by taking all three doubles points. The closest lose for the Norse was an 8-4 decision in the No. 1 flight.
Needing just two points to win the match, Rockhurst quickly found themselves moving on to the tournament finals as the first two singles matches to finish were in their favor as Kandice Betanger easily defeated Sunday 6-0, 6-0, before Erin Bates dispatched of Hand 6-2, 6-2.
The Norse may not have a chance to play for the tournament championship, but they will still have some bragging rights to attain as they will now face Bellarmine in the consolation match to decide third and fourth place. NKU defeated BU 5-4 on April 18 in Louisville.
In men’s action, USI got a measure of revenge on the Norse with a 5-4 decision in the first round of the conference tournament. NKU had defeated the Screaming Easgles by the same 5-4 margin on April 10.
Down 4-3 and needing to win the last two matches to continue on in the tournament, USI (8-7) got come-from-behind wins by Nathan Sexton and Ben Hamm to win the match.
Sexton lost the first set 6-4 to NKU’s Felipe Rossetti before storming back to win the final two sets 6-1 and 7-6 respectively.
In the No. 4 singles flight, Will Knoll took a 6-2 first set victory before dropping the second set to Hamm by the same 6-2 margin. In the third and deciding set, Hamm was able to get the better of Knoll to take both the singles match for himself and the overall match for his team with a 6-4 win.
NKU (15-8) would get a point in the No. 2 doubles flight as Knoll and Tyler Fraser downed Sexton and Hamm 8-4. The other three came in singles play as Fritz Dlabik clipped Joseph Boesing (7-6, 6-3), Ricardo Weaver slipped past Ben Roeser (6-2, 7-6), and Jason Kramer downed Nathan Lattimer (7-6, 6-1).
The NKU women’s team is almost assured a spot in the NCAA tournament as they went into the GLVC Championship as the fouth-ranked team in the region. The men will now have to wait to see if their season will continue as they were the eighth-ranked squad in the region. The NCAA takes the top eight from each region into the postseason tournament.