Biltmore Hills Park – Tennis is serious.
When I arrived at Biltmore Hills Park, I wasn’t so sure that a football
games wasn’t going on. With all of the yelling and “motivational speak”
that was going on and at times “unintentional” taunting, this could not be
That is how the game is played especially at the collegiate level.
After getting down 3-0 losing all three doubles, an argument between
players and a coach from opposing teams which led to a 10-minute delay,
the Shaw men’s tennis team roared back to win 5-of-6 singles matches to
defeat visiting Bloomsburg 5-4 for the right to move on to the NCAA
Division II National Tournament.
For the Bears it was the second-straight year they hosted and won the
“We lost our focus in the middle of the game,” said head coach Sunday
Enitan. “We should have won at least one of three doubles.”
During the contest, Bloomsburg coach Marty Coyne argued a call with a
tennis official which led to an argument between Coyne and Shaw players,
which led to the 10-minute delay.
The delay allowed Shaw to regroup and refocus.
Number three singles player Charles Silva got the first win for the Bears
over the Huskies’ Lee Wexler 6-1, 6-2. Shortly thereafter, Daniel Vasquez
turned in a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Bloomsburg’s Jeff Nuhfer in the number
four singles slot.
Gabriel Nicotra then tied the match with a 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Mark
Schroeder at number two. All three remaining matches all went into a
Bloomsburg’s Mike DiSanto downed Shaw’s Andre Monti 6-1, 6-7, and 7-3 in
the tiebreaker in the number six slot.
Artur Latypov, Shaw’s number one, won his first set easily 6-1, but
dropped the second set 6-1 to Ricky Dove. Latypov bounced back and
claimed the third set 6-3 to tie the match at four apiece.
With the fifth singles remaining and the match tied 4-4, Shaw’s Juan
Sanchez took on Tyler Pultro. Pultro took the first set 6-3, but Sanchez
rebounded with a 6-4 decision in the second.
After holding a 3-0 lead early in the third set, Sanchez allowed Pultro
back in the set. Tied at 5-5, Sanchez held serve to go up 6-5 and then
broke Pultro’s serve to take the set and match with a 7-5 score.
This year’s match was eerily similar to last year’s match against
Bluefield State, where the Bears got down early, came back, and the last
match was won by Shaw, which led the Bears to victory.
Shaw, winners of eight-straight CIAA Championships, advances to the NCAA
National Tournament May 16-19 in Louisville.