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DU finishes second at NCAC Tourney

Casey Cempre won at No. 4 singles against DePauw on Sunday.
Casey Cempre won at No. 4 singles against DePauw on Sunday.

Denison finished second at the 2012 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament after suffering a 6-1 loss to No. 4 Kenyon on Sunday night in Gambier, Ohio.  The Big Red opened the day with a thrilling 5-4 decision over DePauw.

Against the Tigers, senior Tyler Cempre punched DU's ticket to the championship match with a come-from-behind victory at fifth singles.  Cempre suffered a 7-5 setback to Eric Hubbard in the opening set, but rebounded with a 6-4 decision in second.  In the third-and-final set, the senior fell was on the brink of defeat after falling behind 5-2.  However, Cempre held serve twice and broke Hubbard twice to take a 6-5 advantage.  The DU senior held serve for the third-straight time to complete win.

DePauw held a 2-1 advantage after doubles play.  Juan Guerra and Grant Veltman recorded Denison's lone point after edging Michael Rardon and Reid Garlock 8-6 at the third flight.

In singles action, senior Tom Cawood defeated regionally-ranked Sam Miles 6-3, 6-2 at first singles.  The win was Cawood's second-straight victory over Miles.  The Big Red also scored points at the third and fourth singles flights.  Guerra won a three-set decision over Rardon (3-6, 6-4, 6-4), while Casey Cempre defeated Chris Bertolini 6-3, 6-2.

In the championship match, seniors Matt McErlean and Tyler Cempre improved to 18-5 on the year after handing Austin Griffin and Tim Rosensteel an 8-6 loss at No. 1 doubles.

Denison moves to 15-5 on the year, while Kenyon improves to 20-4 overall.  The Big Red will await word next weekend on a possible NCAA Division III Tournament berth.