Leafs News
Knights Pull Out Third-Set Win, Top Goshen Men 5-4
News Photo
Men's Tennis - Sat, Sep. 9, 2017

GOSHEN, Ind. —  Juan Miguel Ciudad claimed victory in both singles and doubles but the Goshen College men's tennis team came up two games shy in its quest to knock off Marian University for the first time since 2008 on Saturday at the Goshen College Tennis Complex. The Knights claimed a 5-4 win to remain third in the Crossroads League.

Goshen (3-3, 2-2) took a 2-1 advantage after doubles play with a 9-7 win by Ciudad and Kartikeya Sharma at no. 1 and an 8-5 victory from Lukas Kanther and Luke Rush at no. 2. Aritha Weerasinghe and Byeong Min almost made it a sweep at no. 3, getting to 7-7 in the pro set before giving up a break of serve to lose 9-7.

Marian (3-1, 3-1) quickly leveled the match with a straight-set win from Alex Wittenbaum at no. 4 singles. One spot down the line, Kanther and Nicholas Marroquin also played a pair of fast sets but failed to reach a decision, with Marroquin pulling ahead 6-3 before Kanther leveled 6-1.

So with about three hours elapsed in the team match, the score stood as level as it could be: Goshen 2, Marian 2, with one match in a third set and each team up a set in two of the remaining four. That tie was short-lived as Noah Roberts's win at no. 3 singles gave the visitors a 3-2 lead.

The Maple Leafs leveled the team match when Evan Beck finished off a 6-2, 6-3 win at no. 6 singles, the position that had one half of Goshen's 10-court complex to itself after the women's match finished. That solitude came in handy when play was halted to squeegee the court following a water bottle-related mishap in the second set—rather than wait for the manual labor to conclude, the players simply shifted to an adjacent court and finished the match.

That left three matches on court: Eric Zuercher served to stay in the match for the Maple Leafs at no. 1, Ciudad and Ian Deiters battled late in the second set at no. 2, and Kanther got one break back to pull within 4-5 in the third set at no. 5.

Knight ace Nathan Bogle broke through first, edging Zuercher 6-4, 6-2 to leave Marian a win shy of the team victory. That point came from Nicholas Marroquin, who won the final three points after Kanther took a 30-15 lead on his own serve to break, win and claim the team match. Less than 30 seconds later, CIudad prevailed after multiple deuces in the final game with a 6-4, 7-5 win, but it was too little, too late.

Marroquin became Marian's lone double winner of the day with his victory in the penultimate match.

The match was the first time in Goshen coach Evan Atkinson's 20-match tenure that the team with more doubles wins failed to win the match. While Goshen went down in defeat, it also marked the first time in the last 10 meetings that GC had taken as many as four positions from the Knights.

GC's loss dropped it into a tie with Taylor University for fifth place in the middle of the 10-team Crossroads League: the Maple Leafs' five remaining matches include Taylor, two teams above the .500 mark and two teams below it.

Goshen reaches the midpoint of its Crossroads League slate on Tuesday with a visit to the University of Saint Francis at Swinney Park in Fort Wayne. First serve is set for 4 p.m.

More, including comments from Goshen coach Evan Atkinson, to come when available.

Full Results: Marian 5, Goshen 4

Singles
1. Nathan Bogle (M) def. Eric Zuercher 6-4, 6-2
2. Juan Miguel Ciudad (G) def. Ian Deiters 6-3, 7-5
3. Noah Roberts (M) def. Kartikeya Sharma 6-3, 6-3
4. Alex Wittenbaum (M) def. Aritha Weerasinghe 6-1, 6-2
5. Nicholas Marroquin (M) def. Lukas Kanther 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
6. Evan Beck (G) def. Turner Lesnick 6-3, 6-2

Doubles
1. Ciudad/Sharma (G) def. Bogle/Deiters 9-7
2. Kanther/Luke Rush (G) def. Roberts/Wittenbaum 8-5
3. Lesnick/Marroquin (M) def. Byeong Min Lim/Weerasinghe 9-7