Lexington, Va. - The men's tennis team of North Carolina Wesleyan cruised to a 5-0 victory over Franciscan University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday morning in Lexington, Virginia. Unfortunately, 6th-ranked Emory University ended the Battling Bishops' season in Saturday's regional semifinal by the same score. Friday's victory moved NCWC to 6-0 all-time in opening round play, while Saturday's loss marks the fourth straight season that the Eagles have eliminated the Bishops from contention.
In Friday's opening round, Wesleyan raced out to a 3-0 lead by sweeping doubles action. The Barons' closest chance at a point came at the top seed, where NCWC's Mikhail Konnov/Peter Hviid eventually won an 8-6 tiebreak. Wesleyan's duos of Elias Kerem/Eduardo Ugalde and Ben Tolhurst/Philipp Vylegzhanin won easily by 8-0 and 8-1 scores, respectively.
Playing to decision, it did not take long for the Bishops to seal the match as Vylegzhanin won in straights at #6, followed by a match-clinching win for Kerem at #2. Kerem gave up just one point in the match.
Emory returned the favor on Saturday, taking a 3-0 lead into singles play by tallying a doubles sweep. Kerem/Ugalde nearly stole a point at the #2 seed but fell 8-6 in a tight match that was played indoors due to weather. In singles action, the Eagles would punch their ticket to the regional final with a pair of straight-set wins at #4 and #1.
Wesleyan finishes the season with a 13-9 overall record.