September 24, 2012

Bishop Tennis Fairs Well at Elon University Fall Invite

Burlington, N.C. - North Carolina Wesleyan men's tennis was back in action this weekend at Elon University's Fall Invitational. Robert Kjellberg, Clayton Sonn and Iraklii Marutian each made the finals of their singles back draws, while Sonn teamed with Mikhail Konnov to reach the semifinals of their doubles bracket.

"This weekend was certainly challenging as we faced strong competition from Division I teams," said NCWC head coach Worth Richardson. "Many of these teams will compete for their conference championships, so it was great to see our guys embrace the challenge and find success."

Kjellberg went 2-2 in singles play, downing players from Campbell University and the University of Richmond.  His back draw championship loss came in three-set thriller versus Adrien Rossignon of Campbell (7-6, 2-6, 10-4).

Said Richardson, "Rob showed that he is capable of being among the nation's elite players, even at the D-I level."

Sonn also went 2-2, earning straight-set victories over players from Winthrop and UNC Greensboro. He, too, dropped a three-set thriller in his back draw championship to Mario Martinez of East Carolina (4-6, 6-2, 10-8).

Marutian and Peter Hviid turned in wins over James Flynn of UNCG (6-4, 6-4) and James Jones of Campbell (4-6, 6-3, 10-7), respectively.

In doubles play, Sonn/Konnov knocked off Campbell's VanGerwen/Billington by a 9-8 score to reach the semifinals.  Kjellberg and Artsiom Prostak dropped two tough 8-6 decisions to talented duos from UNCG and Old Dominion, while Hviid and Panayot Kusidi fell 9-7 and 8-5 to teams from Longwood and Campbell.

In addition to those previously mentioned, the three-day tourney also featured players from Wake Forest, James Madison and Coastal Carolina.

Next up for the Bishops is next weekend's ITA Southeast Regional hosted by Emory University.