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Rally falls short in NCAC Final Four

Casey Cempre won his fourth-straight singles match on Saturday.
Casey Cempre won his fourth-straight singles match on Saturday.

Third-seeded Denison's rally fell short as second-seeded DePauw topped the Big Red, 5-3, on Saturday night in the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament Semifinals in Oberlin, Ohio.

The Tigers took a commanding 3-0 lead after sweeping all three doubles flights.  DePauw won the first and third flights via 8-3 and 8-5 scores, respectively.  At No. 2 doubles, Andrew Marczak and Casey Cempre were involved in a war with DePauw's David Moss and Reid Garlock.  The two teams split the first 16 points.  The tiebreaker didn't disappoint as the two pairings combined for 26 points.  In the end, Moss and Garlock edged out a 14-12 decision to complete the sweep.

Despite falling in an early 3-0 hole, the Big Red battled back to win three of the first four single flights, shrinking the deficit to 4-3.  Cempre and Shankar Rajupet posted dominant straight-set victories at first and fourth singles, respectively.  Cempre posted scores of 6-1, 6-2, while Rajupet won with matching 6-2, 6-2 scores.  Marczak also picked up a win at No. 3 singles (6-1, 9-8 [11-9]).

DePauw picked up a singles victory at the second light to make it a 4-3 match.  The Tigers secured their spot in the NCAC title match with a 6-3, 7-5 decision at No. 5 singles.

Denison falls to 11-7 on the year, while DePauw improves to 10-12.  The Big Red will take on Wittenberg in the third-place match on Sunday at 3 p.m.