Leafs News
Goshen Comes Tiebreaker Short Of Sweep At Saint Francis
News Photo
Men's Tennis - Tue, Sep. 12, 2017

By Chandler Ingle
Sports Information Intern

FORT WAYNE, Ind — A 9-8(3) tiebreaker loss at no. 2 doubles was the only thing separating the Goshen College men's tennis team from a clean sweep as it defeated the University of Saint Francis 8-1 Tuesday evening at Swinney Park.

Singles action proved of little competition in the team victory for the Leafs (4-3, 3-2 Crossroads League). The nearest set score of the entire match came in the second frame of Eric Zuercher's 6-1, 6-4 victory at no. 1 singles. Juan Miguel Ciudad kept pace with Zuercher atop the Leafs singles depth chart by improving his season singles record to 6-1 in a decisive 6-1, 6-2 win.

Kartikeya Sharma, was also victorious in his individual performance by score of 6-0, 6-2 over Cougars no. 3 man Alex Stavretis. Ciudad then teamed up with his roommate, Sharma, at no. 1 doubles to survive a close 9-7 decision.

Apart from the intrigue of the lineup's top, the match that provided the most drama on the evening came by way of a 9-8(3) tiebreaker loss for the duo of Lukas Kanther and Luke Rush at no. 2 doubles. Cougars no. 1 singles participant Austin Overlander, and no. 5 singles man Tyler Christlieb combined their efforts to prevail late and hand Kanther and Rush their third loss as a duo, pushing their record to 4-3 on the season.

Zuercher and Aritha Weerasinghe closed out doubles action with a 8-2 victory. The win was the first for the duo this season; while Tuesday marked their 2017 debut, they split two matches together in 2015. Weerasinghe also proved victorious in his no. 4 singles match with a 6-1, 6-3 victory.

The win, combined with a Huntington victory at Taylor, moves Goshen into fifth place outright in the conference standings. Goshen trails Marian and Huntington by half a game for the last first-round host spot in next month's eight-team Crossroads League tournament and has matches remaining with two of the four teams it trails. The same Huntington win eliminated Saint Francis (0-6, 0-6) from contention to host a first-round match.

The Goshen men will return to action this Thursday to begin play in the weekend-long ITA regional tournament in Marion, Indiana. The tournament will be a single-elimination bracket with a consolation draw for first-round losers. There will be 11 competing schools, including 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams, playing on 31 courts at three sites.

More, including comments from Goshen director of tennis Evan Atkinson, to come when available. 

Full Results: Goshen 8, Saint Francis 1

1. Eric Zuercher (G) def. Austin Overlander 6-1, 6-4
2. Juan Miguel Ciudad (G) def. Jay Stanchin 6-1, 6-2
3. Kartikeya Sharma (G) def. Alex Stavretis 6-0, 6-2
4. Aritha Weerasinghe (G) def. Jordan Andrews 6-1, 6-3
5. Lukas Kanther (G) def. Tyler Christlieb 6-3, 6-0
6. Evan Beck (G) def. Tony Tomen 6-3, 6-2

1. Ciudad/Sharma (G) def. Andrews/Stanchin 9-7
2. Christlieb/Overlander (SF) def. Kanther/Luke Rush 9-8(3)
3. Weerasinghe/Zuercher (G) def. Stavretis/Tomen 8-2