By Travis Rae, NAIA Communications and Sports Information Intern
MOBILE, Ala. – (Box Score) (Bracket) Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) has advanced to the championship match after defeating Vanguard (Calif.), 5-2, in the semifinals on Friday. Auburn Montgomery will be looking for its 10th national championship when they face Embry-Riddle (Fla.) in the title match at 10 a.m.
NeuLion, the NAIA’s official video-streaming company of 18 select NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting the championship match on May 18. Streaming of the championship match will be free. For more information and to pre-register, click here.
“It’s a great feeling to go to the title match,” said Auburn Montgomery Head Coach Rolando Vargas. “We have been working hard all year and we have had a very competitive schedule all year. All the hard work has paid off. We played a really hard semifinals match against Vanguard, they are very good team.”
Vanguard dominated as Stefan Kilehofer and Rogers Muri took No. 1 doubles, 8-6. The Lions continued to win in doubles as Lucas Larsson and Robin Wagner claimed No. 2 doubles, 8-5. Auburn Montgomery salvaged one point in doubles as they won No. 3 doubles, 8-6.
“We stuck to our game plan and we didn’t play well in doubles but came out on fire in singles,” said Vargas. We have a tough match tomorrow against Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and it will come down to whoever wants it more tomorrow.”
Auburn Montgomery overcame the deficit in singles action as the Warhawks did not drop a set in singles against Vanguard. Pinones-Haltenhoff won No.1 singles, 6-2, 6-3 and the rest of the team followed suit. Zino Jonini claimed the match for Auburn Montgomery with his victory in No. 5 singles, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5, moving the Warhawks into the championship match for the eighth time in fourteen appearances at the national championship, since the team format started in 2000.