GAMBIER, Ohio -- The Big Red men's tennis team advanced to the second round of the 2017 North Coast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament following a 5-1 victory over Ohio Wesleyan on Friday at the VandenBerg Courts at Kenyon College.
Denison's top doubles pairing of Kevin Brown and Blake Burstein opened the scoring with an 8-3 decision over Diego Venegas and Jack Hibbard. The win marked their ninth-straight and 11th at the flight. The Bishops evened the score with an 8-4 victory at the second flight. At third doubles, Danish Siddiquie and Colin Bahin put DU back in front with an 8-5 win over Jacob Volbers and Felipe Duate.
In singles play, senior Owen Smith extended Denison's lead with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Aadil Kohari at the No. 3 flight. Junior Jamie McDonald followed with another straight-set win (6-0, 6-2) at the second flight. The win mark Smith's fifth-straight in singles play, while McDonald has now won five in a row. Burstein secured the win for the Big Red with a three-set decision over Hibbard. Burstein blanked Hibbard in the first set before dropping the second 6-2. The sophomore rebounded with a 6-3 win in the final set to nail down the DU victory.
Denison (9-9) will now face second-seeded Kenyon (11-10) on Saturday in the semifinals of the NCAC Tournament. The Lords earned their spot in the semis with a 5-1 victory over Wooster in the opening round. Saturday's semifinal is scheduled to start at 12 p.m. in Gambier, Ohio.