BRUNSWICK, Maine- The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) champion Eastern Nazarene College men's tennis team topped Yeshiva 5-1 Thursday at Bowdoin College to notch the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory.
The Lions become the first GNAC men's tennis member to post an NCAA Tournament win while also marking the college's second-ever NCAA Tournament victory, snapping a 7,005-day drought since the Crusaders' women's basketball squad downed Richard Stockton in the 2000 NCAA Tournament.
With the win, Eastern Nazarene improves to 17-7 on the year and advances to face eighth-ranked Bowdoin in the second round. The Maccabees finish the season with a 14-8 overall record with the result.
The Lions grabbed a 2-1 edge following doubles play with wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions.
The Lions' No. 3 doubles tandem of Alberto Escobar (Sevilla, Spain) and Kyle Pierson (Redding, Calif.) outlasted Amram Wahnon and Samuel Edery 8-7 to push Eastern Nazarene ahead 2-1 heading into singles action.
The Lions notched three singles victories to earn their fifth-straight win.
Siercke cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win at the No. 1 singles position over Ozery to extend Eastern Nazarene's advantage to 3-1.
Schoengens breezed by Alexander Kalb 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 5 spot to put the Lions' on the cusp of clinching the match.
History repeated itself as Rodriguez finished off the match, reminiscent of the GNAC Championship Saturday. The rookie posted a 6-1, 6-4 victory at the fourth singles slot to send Eastern Nazarene to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
When the match reached decision, Escobar held a 6-3, 4-2 lead at the No. 2 singles spot while Opaschowski was tied in the second set 3-3 after capturing the first frame 6-4 at the No. 3 position. Pierson was battling back with a 5-4 lead in the second set after dropping the opening frame 6-1 at the sixth slot.
Up next, Eastern Nazarene will continue NCAA Tournament play May 10 against 2018 national runner-up and No. 8 Bowdoin.