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Men's Tennis - Tue, May 16, 2017

MOBILE, Ala. -- Twelfth-ranked Westmont Men's Tennis (14-7) flew by the first round of the NAIA Men's Tennis National Championship when they defeated No. 21 Lawrence Tech of Michigan (20-7) by a score of 8-1.  With this win, the Warriors advance to the round of 16.

"We have had a lot of first round battles the past couple years so it was nice to come out here and win it," reflected senior captain Tommy Nightingale. "We played a good team today and all of the guys had a heck of an effort, so to come out of it 8-1 feels great."

In doubles, Philipp Sibbel and Christian Mathis defeated Juan Bermudez and Javier Alvarez 8-3 playing at number one; Luke Whalen and John Joens overcame Mason Wenzel and Jan Horstkoetter 8-6; and at number three Tommy Nightingale and Austin Lee were defeated by Stijn Bremer and Vincent Colarossi 5-8.

Going into singles the Warriors led 2-1 and needed to win three of six singles matches to win the overall match. Luke Barnard earned the Warriors' third point when he conquered Wenzel 6-2, 6-4 playing at number six; Nightingale added on the fourth point when he downed Bremer 6-3, 6-1 playing at number five; and Christian Mathis earned the winning fifth point when he defeated Robert Saitov 6-3, 6-2 playing at number three.

Even though the Warriors had already earned enough points to win the match, the remaining two matches were played out due to the NAIA tournament first round rules. At number four, Joens came back from being down a set and ultimately defeated Norstkoetter 1-6, 6-1, 14-12; and at number two Sibbel held off Alvarez and won by a score of 6-3, 7-5.

Head coach Mark Basham reflected on the team's performance.

"Top to bottom I thought it was a very good performance for us. I am super stoked that we were able to get two out of three in doubles- we haven't done that often enough this season. Certainly happy with numbers one and two doubles and at number three doubles I think we could have played better."

"In singles it was neat to see Luke Barnard jump off and win his match," continued Basham, "and then neat to see Tommy get it done to put us within one match of winning, and then with Christian, who is playing really well at nationals, to get our fifth point."

"I think we definitely have the possibility to win tomorrow," said Nightingale. "We have had a top ten win this season before and so I think we need to just start off strong in doubles because I know we have a possibility to win all the way through the line-up – we just need to keep up the energy and start off strong."

The Warriors will play in the round of sixteen tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. CDT against No. 5 Campbellsville (24-4).