GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Adrian College men's tennis team went on the road on Thursday in the MIAA Tournament semifinals and defeated Calvin College 5-2. The win advances the Bulldogs (19-5) to the MIAA Tournament final for the first time in school history. The Bulldogs will travel to Kalamazoo College on Friday for a 4 p.m. matchup.
"I am proud of the men's tennis team for accomplishing a first-ever for the Adrian College tennis program," said head coach Maxim Sukalo. "All of our players, parents and alumni are part of our accomplishment. When I came to Adrian College, I knew that we had the team to break the school record for wins and reach the MIAA finals. Now we are there and this program is ready for a conference championship. I am proud and thankful to be the coach at Adrian College."
The tone of the match was set at doubles as Adrian won two of the three matches. Joey Loselle and Michael Mertz got the first point at one doubles with an 8-4 win over Matt VanWinkle and Taylor Asfour. The Knights evened up the match at 1-1 as they got a point at two doubles. Tom Griffin and Matt Buesing squared off with Alex Amos and Jeff Sophiea and won 8-4. Adrian got the second point at three doubles as Troy Gargrave and Brandon Brom defeated Jared Doezema and Anthony Vroon by the score of 8-4.
Four of the matches were completed in singles as the number one and five spots went unfinished because Adrian sealed the fifth and winning point. Mertz had little trouble at three singles with a 6-0, 6-1 win over VanWinkle giving the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead. Calvin climbed back to within a point at six singles as Gene Hill won 6-1, 6-0 over Gargrave. Loselle won at two singles in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) over Griffin to secure the fourth point. The clinching point came at four singles as Sophiea put the Bulldogs into the next round with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Asfour.