Big Red Tennis ready for NCAC Tournament
The Denison tennis teams will open play at the 2013 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament on Friday in Oberlin, Ohio.
The Big Red women’s team (13-5) received the second seed after posting a 2-1 record in NCAC West Division play. Denison will take on division foe and No. 7 seed Wittenberg on Friday at 11 a.m. The Tigers finished the regular season with a 1-2 division record. Last Thursday, DU handed Wittenberg a 9-0 loss in Springfield, Ohio. The Big Red won all six singles flights and straight sets, and won the three doubles matches with identical 8-1 scores.
Denison is led by the tandem of senior Alex Marcell and junior Kelsey Geppner, who are both ranked in the Central Region. Geppner went 12-4 during the regular season, including an 8-3 mark since moving to the top singles flight. Marcell was 11-6 overall and 8-2 at second singles. She will ride a five-match winning streak into postseason play. As a team, Marcell and Geppner are 10-3 at No. 1 doubles and rank 10th in the region. Freshmen Taylor Hawkins (9-4), Meg Chiumento (12-5) and Emma Forman (11-6) have also played a key role this season.
The other three first round matches feature top-seeded DePauw against No. 8 Ohio Wesleyan, No. 4 Oberlin vs. fifth-seeded Allegheny and third-seeded Kenyon against No. 6 Wooster.
On the men’s side, DU earned the third seed in the tournament after going 2-1 in the NCAC West. The Big Red will take on sixth-seeded and tournament host Oberlin at 3 p.m. on Friday. On April 6, Denison defeated the Yeomen 7-2 in Granville. The Big Red won second through sixth singles flights and the second and third doubles matches.
DU is paced by the quartet of junior Andrew Marczak, and sophomores Casey Cempre, Grant Veltman and Shankar Rajupet. Marczak finished the regular season with a 14-6 record, including a perfect 3-0 mark in conference play. He also went 7-2 at No. 3 singles and is currently riding a four-match winning streak. Cempre and Veltman are both 13-8 on the year, playing the majority of their matches at first and second singles, respectively. Rajupet boasts a team-best 16 singles victories. As a doubles team, Cempre and Marczak are 17-7, including a 10-5 mark at the second flight.
The other three first round matches feature top-seeded Kenyon against No. 8 Ohio Wesleyan, No. 4 Allegheny vs. fifth-seeded Wittenberg and second-seeded DePauw against No. 7 Wabash.
Winners of the opening round matches will advance to Saturday’s semifinal matches, while the opening round losers will continue play on Saturday and Sunday in the back draw bracket.
The women's fifth-place and seventh-place matches will begin on Sunday morning at 9 a.m., while the championship match and third-place match will begin at approximately 11 a.m. The men's fifth-place and seventh-place matches are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, while the championship match and third-place match will begin at approximately 3 p.m.