By Nikki Sherrill, Athletic Communications and Media Intern
MOBILE, Ala. – (Bracket) (Video Recap) (Schedule & Results) Only four programs remain in the 2017 NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship field after the quarterfinal matches were completed on Thursday. Two semifinalists from last season are back in the same spot this year, while Campbellsville (Ky.) is making program history by advancing to its first-ever semifinal contest. The event is being held in Mobile, Ala. at the Mobile Tennis Center for the fourth-straight year.
For the fourth-consecutive year, the No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett Grizzlies are back into the national semifinal round after earning a 5-0 win over No. 9 William Woods (Mo.). Now with two matches under their belt in Mobile, the Grizzlies have yet to give up a single team point. The NAIA's top-ranked doubles from Georgia Gwinnett of Kevin Konfederak and Gilad Berman set the pace for the match opening up play with an 8-1 win. Rafael Coutinho earned the winning point for the Grizzlies for the second-straight match to propel the Grizzlies into Saturday. William Woods, who was in its first-ever national championship, ended their time in Mobile at 2-1.
Georgia Gwinnett will take on No. 5 Campbellsville on Saturday in the semifinals after the Tigers defeated No. 4 Northwestern Ohio 5-4 in the quarterfinals. This is the deepest run the Tigers have had in program history as they will be making their first-ever appearance in the semifinals. Campbellsville got up to a 3-0 start over the Racers, but Northwestern Ohio picked up a singles win to cut into the lead at 3-1. The match got even closer with the match tied at 4-4, but singles player Chrys Castro would not let his team's season end has he pulled off the win to advance the Tigers into Saturday.
No. 3 Keiser (Fla.) is also into its first-ever national semifinal match after knocking out No. 6 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in a 5-4 contest. The two teams spilt the singles contests on the day with each picking up three of those matches. In doubles, Keiser won the decisive match after each team earned one doubles win. With the loss, Lindsey Wilson is eliminated from the field after making it to the semifinals last season.
The final spot in the semifinals went to No. 2 Xavier (La.), last year's national runner-up. The Gold Rushed picked up a 5-3 quarterfinal win over No. 7 William Carey (Miss.). William Carey got on the board first picking up a doubles win. Xavier earned the final two wins in doubles to take a 2-1 lead into singles play. Xavier continued the momentum to go 3-1 in singles, giving it the 5-3 win to advance. This was William Carey's first-ever quarterfinal appearance in program history.
Semifinal action will start Saturday morning at 9 a.m. CDT with the winners advancing to the national championship match.
For more information on the 2017 NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship, click here.