By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
MOBILE, Ala. — (Results | Bracket) The 2014 NAIA Men’s Tennis National Championship resumed at 8:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, after weather delayed Wednesday’s second round matches. The top eight seeds saw their first action of the national championship and 6-of-8 moved on to Thursday afternoon’s quarterfinals with dominant wins.
No. 4 Vanguard (Calif.) vanquished SCAD Atlanta (Ga.), which had pulled the lone upset of the first round, 5-0. The Lions swept the doubles matches (8-4, 8-4, 8-2) and won at No. 1 (6-3, 6-4) and No. 6 (6-1, 6-1) singles to punch their ticket to the quarterfinals. The Bees’ first round win was their first national championship victory in the team’s first-ever national championship appearance.
No. 2 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 3 Georgia Gwinnett and No. 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) each made quick work of its second round opponent, winning 5-1. For Georgia Gwinnett, which is competing in its first-ever national championship in its first year of eligibility, the win is the first national championship victory in program history.
The Warhawks lone loss came in No. 1 doubles, where Aaron Hendrick and Nik Artaev of Aquinas (Mich.) held off Francisco Mendieta and Josh Reason, 8-5. The Grizzlies also suffered a loss at No. 1 doubles, as Luke Morland and Nathan De Veer fell, 8-3, to Graceland’s (Iowa) duo of Birkir Gunnarsson and Jose Danielle Razo Torres. After sweeping doubles play, the Blue Raiders dropped a match at No. 2 singles to Thommy Johansson of Northwestern Ohio, but sealed the match with wins at No. 3 and No. 5.
Despite dropping 2-of-3 doubles matches, top-seeded Embry-Riddle (Fla.) rebounded with wins at No. 1 (6-0, 6-3), No. 2 (6-2, 6-3), No. 4 (6-1, 6-1) and No. 6 (6-1, 6-2) singles to bring home a 5-2 victory. The Eagles lost to a competitive Coastal Georgia squad at No. 1 (8-5) and No. 3 doubles (8-5), while Patrick Besch and Jaime Sanchez-Canamares Rios brought home a win at No. 2 doubles (8-4).
No. 6 Cumberland (Tenn.) was the last seeded team to advance, besting Concordia (Calif.). The Bulldogs overcame a 1-2 deficit following doubles play to win, 5-3. Antonio Manuel Marcelo and Pablo Borrero highlighted singles action for Cumberland, securing points at No. 1 (7-6, 6-3) and No. 2 (6-1, 6-3) singles.
Bethany (Kan.) and Xavier (La.) upset No. 7 Westmont (Calif.) (5-3) and No. 8 Belhaven (Miss.) (5-4), respectively, to advance to the quarterfinals. The Swedes, which had won just one national championship match in 10 prior appearances, are moving on to their first-ever national championship quarterfinals.
The national championship quarterfinals featuring No. 1 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), No. 2 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), No. 3 Georgia Gwinnett, No. 4 Vanguard (Calif.), No. 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), No. 6 Cumberland (Tenn.), Bethany (Kan.) and Xavier (La.), will kick off at 5:00 p.m. CDT Thursday.
NeuLion, the official video streaming company of select NAIA National Championship events, will be broadcasting the national championship match from Mobile on Saturday, May 17. For more information on the free live video stream and to pre-register, click here.