September 30, 2013

Big Red completes fall season at ITAs

The Denison men's tennis team closed out the 2013 fall season this past weekend at the 2013 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Regional hosted by Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Juniors Casey Cempre and Grant Veltman, and senior Andrew Marczak all posted strong showings in the ITA Singles Draw.  Cempre, who was seeded 11th in the 128-man field, opened the weekend with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over North Coast Athletic Conference foe Milo Sauman of Wooster.  In the second round, the DU junior edged Otterbein's Ryan Shutt 6-4, 6-4.  Cempre's run came to an end following a 6-2, 6-3 loss to Kenyon's Sam Geier, the No. 21 seed.

Like Cempre, Veltman strung together a pair of wins before falling in the round of 32.  Veltman opened play with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Monmouth's Derek Rineberg.  He continued the run with a dominating 6-2, 6-2 decision over DePauw's Joe Collins.  In the third round, Veltman dropped a hard-fought three-set decision to 16th-seeded Branden Metzler of Kalamazoo (7-5, 3-6, 6-2).

Marczak faced the stiffest first-round competition as he took on 15th-seeded Sven Kranz of Chicago.  Despite dropping a 7-5, 6-1 decision in the opening round, the Big Red senior rattled four-straight victories to reach the consolation semifinals.  In the first round of the consolation bracket, Marczak knocked off OWU's Adil Kohari 6-1, 6-4.  He followed up that win with a three-set victory over 18th-seeded Derek Reinbold of Case Western Reserve (6-2, 2-6, 1-0 [6]).

After a straight-set (6-2, 6-1) victory over Elmhurst's Vince McPherson in the third round, Marczak defeated Chicago's Peter Muncey in the consolation quarterfinals via 7-5, 6-3 scores.  In the consolation semifinal, the senior faced off against DePauw's Ben Kopecky.  Marczak took the opening set 6-4, but dropped a 6-3 decision in the second.  In the third-and-final set, Kopecky edged the DU senior via 10-8 score.

In other singles action, freshman Ryan Bibo won the consolation bracket of the Kalamazoo Collegiate Singles draw.  After suffering a three-set loss to Matt Buesing in the opening round of the bracket, Bibo posted straight-set wins over North Central's Mason Sass, Lake Forest's Dragan Trivanovic and Wittenberg's Mitchell Patterson to earn a berth in the consolation semifinal.  After advancing to the finals via walkover, Bibo was all set for a match with Kalamazoo's Jacob Scott.  The Big Red rookie edged Scott with matching 6-4 scores to win the consolation bracket.

In doubles play, the fifth-seeded team of Shankar Rajupet and Veltman doubled up the team of Phil Gruber and Reinbold of Case Western Reserve, 8-4.  They followed that up with back-to-back 8-6 victories over Kalamazoo's Bo Hudson and Mike Korn and Augustana's Colin Arnold and Kevin Bayles.  In the quarterfinals of the draw, Rajupet and Veltman took on top-seeded Ryan Kreis and Josh Ward of Wheaton (Ill.).  The top-seeded Thunder squad brought Rajupet and Veltman's run to an end with an 8-2 quarterfinal victory.

The Big Red will resume play on February 9 when they host the University of Chicago.