DES MOINES, Iowa (Jan. 18) - Creighton men's tennis players began their final individual event of the season on Friday at the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Individual Tennis Championships held at Drake's Roger Knapp Tennis Center this weekend.
Three Bluejays advanced to the semifinal round in their respective singles flights. Senior Billy Paluch posted a 1-1 record in Flight 1 while freshman Quinn Dippel also recorded a 1-1 day in Flight 6. Meanwhile, senior Sean Mathison advanced to the semis in Flight 5. Five other Bluejays will play consolation matches on Saturday.
Ranked No. 91 nationally in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, Paluch fell 6-3, 6-2 to Alexander Pelaez of Illinois State. He later evened his record by knocking off Bradley's Arthur Romanet. Paluch faces Matheus Pereira of Wichita State in the semifinal round Saturday.
Dippel opened the day with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Southern Illinois' Szymon Opieczonek in Flight 6. In Dippel's second match, Rolando Torrellas of Illinois State moved ahead with a 6-0 set one win. The freshman fought back in the second set pushing the Redbird to a tiebreaker before falling 7-6. On Saturday Dippel serves against Drake's Ben Lott in a semifinal match.
In Flight 5, Mathison only played one match Friday due to a two-person pool slot. Facing the No. 109 ranked player in the nation, Drake's Ben Mullis, Mathison fell 6-1, 6-1. In a Saturday semifinal Mathison takes on Justin Abrams of Bradley.
Creighton freshman Brandon Lee saw action in Flight 2. In match one he dropped a 6-0, 6-1 match to Robin Goodman of Drake. Lee dropped set one of his second outing 6-3 to Brandon Florez of Southern Illinois but forced a tiebreak in set two before falling 7-6.
In Flight 3 CU senior Ryan Norman forced extra games in both sets but suffered a 7-5, 7-6 defeat to Guillermo Nicol of Wichita State. Later Illinois State's Jacob Wilson got the better of Norman 6-2, 6-4.
CU sophomore Elliott Baker dropped a pair of matches in Flight 4. In the opening contest Alvaro Gutierrez of Wichita State moved past Baker 6-0, 6-3. Later SIU's Jonny Rigby edged the Bluejay 7-6 in set one before settling the match at 6-1 in the second.
A pair of Creighton freshmen saw action in Flight 7. CU's Anthony Rauschenbach fell 6-4, 6-2 to Drake's Grant Tesmer on his home court while classmate Nick Thompson dropped a 7-5, 6-2 decision to Martijn Admiraal of SIU.
The Bluejays are in action again tomorrow beginning at 9 a.m. CT with doubles pool play. Paluch and Lee team up to play in Doubles Flight 1 pool play against tandems from Drake and Bradley. In Doubles Flight 2, Baker and Norman battle Wichita State and Drake duos. Mathison and Thompson serve against pairs from Southern Illinois and Bradley in Doubles Flight 3.
Singles semifinal matches as well as consolation contests will follow the completion of doubles pool play Saturday. Semifinal doubles matches followed by finals in both singles and doubles conclude the championship Sunday beginning at 9 a.m.
CU FRIDAY SINGLES POOL PLAY RESULTS
Pelaez (ILS) def. Paluch (CU) 6-3, 6-2
Paluch (CU) def. Romanet (BU) 6-2, 6-1
Goodman (DU) def. Lee (CU) 6-0, 6-1
Florez (SIU) def. Lee (CU) 6-3, 7-6 (5)
Nicol (WSU) def. Norman (CU) 7-5, 7-6 (1)
Wilson (ILS) def. Norman (CU) 6-2, 6-4
Gutierrez (WSU) def. Baker (CU) 6-0, 6-3
Rigby (SIU) def. Baker (CU) 7-6 (6), 6-1
Mullis (DU) def. Mathison (CU) 6-1, 6-1
Dippel (CU) def. Opieczonek (SIU) 6-4, 6-4
Torrellas (ILS) def. Dippel (CU) 6-0, 7-6 (6)
Tesmer (DU) def. Rauschenbach (CU) 6-4, 6-2
Admiraal (SIU) def. Thompson (CU) 7-5, 6-2