Vanguard won its second match of the day, defeating Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 5-4, to advance to the NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship Semifinals for the second consecutive year.
For the 11th-straight year, the top four seeds advanced to the semifinals of the NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship. All four teams enter Friday's semifinals undefeated in NAIA play this season.
In arguably the most competitive match of the quarterfinals, No. 4 Vanguard (Calif.) held off No. 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) to advance to its second-straight semifinals. The Lions grabbed an early lead, 3-1, with wins at No. 1 (8-6) and No. 3 (8-2) doubles and No. 3 singles (7-6, 6-3). But, the Blue Raiders battled back, earning victories at No. 2, No. 5 and No. 6 singles—including two that required three sets—to take their first lead of the match 4-3. Daymon Johnson pulled the Lions back even, 4-4, winning a three-set thriller at No. 4 over Lindsey Wilson's Francisco Charters (6-2, 1-6, 7-5).
That left the match up to each team's No. 1 singles player. While locked in a third set battle after splitting sets, Lindsey Wilson's Edberg Espinosa was forced to concede due to injury with Vanguard's Stefan Kilchhofer leading the decisive third set, 5-4. The concession gave Vanguard a 5-4 victory, sending the Lions back to the semifinals chasing their first-ever national championship.
No. 4 Vanguard will meet No. 1 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) in semifinal action, beginning at 11 a.m. PDT Friday, while No. 2 Auburn Montgomery will face No. 3 Georgia Gwinnett in the other matchup.
For the complete tournament schedule and results, go to NAIA Men's Tennis.
NeuLion, the official video streaming company of select NAIA National Championship events, will be broadcasting the national championship match from Mobile on Saturday, May 17. For more information on the free live video stream and to pre-register, click here.
Information taken from the NAIA release by Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern. For the complete NAIA release, go to www.naia.org.