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‘Outstanding show’ for men’s tennis
Quinnipiac’s James Kwei and Brian Mikkelson sealed the deal on the Flight A doubles tournament indoors early Saturday morning, and singles play resumed outside at the Quinnipiac men’s tennis Invitational at 11:30.
Mikkelson was Quinnipiac’s first singles competitor of the day. He was able to cruise through the match against Chris Ujkic of Sacred Heart, winning 6-0 and 6-2. Mikkelson looked very impressive on all fronts.
Freshman Andrew Weeden battled Fairfield’s freshman Erik Kremheller in a Flight B quarterfinals match that went down to the wire. Weeden was named Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week in late September for winning a singles flight championship. However, this week he found himself on the losing end.
Kremheller took the first set 6-4 but Weeden stole the second, also winning 6-4. As the match went into the tiebreaker a crowd started to gather around the court. Both coaches and the majority of both teams looked on intently.
The tiebreaker went back and forth until Weeden was able to string together a run and go up 9-6. The Quinnipiac freshman found himself stranded at nine points, as Kremheller went on a 5-0 run to win the match.
The Bobcats advanced three players to singles finals on Sunday at the Quinnipiac Invitational.
Dillon Kraus defeated teammate Chris Nelson for the Flight D Championship and senior John Hughes lost in the Flight A Championship. Kraus won the first set 6-2, but Nelson retired after falling behind 2-0 in the second set.
Nelson, a freshman, may have retired from the championship match because he was involved in one of the more exciting matches of the morning, as he battled with Fairfield’s Bob Kelly in a tiebreaker during the semifinals.
After splitting the first two sets, Nelson got ahead early in the tiebreaker, going up 5-2 on Fairfield’s Bob Kelly. However, Kelly brought the score to 9-8, but Nelson won the next point to win the match.
“I was just trying not to be nervous and was playing through it,” Nelson said. “He had a nice comeback, but I ended up finishing him off.”
Quinnipiac head coach Mike Quitko spoke highly of Nelson’s efforts as well.
“This was his first activity, and he made it to the finals in doubles and singles,” Quitko said. “That’s a pretty good debut, wouldn’t you say?”
Hughes competed in the Flight A Championship match, but fell to Sacred Heart’s Kirill Kasyanov 6-1, 6-1. The lefty had defeated Fairfield’s Dan Sauter 6-1, 6-3 earlier in the day to advance to the finals.
“I think the play was good, hard and the competition was very strong,” Quitko said of the home invitational.
“I’m very happy with the way the boys competed.” Quitko said. “Of course you always want to win everything, but the reality is that we’re getting ready for April, and there are things we need to work on in the next few months.”
The team will be taking three athletes to the ITA Northeast Regional Championships at Dartmouth on Thursday and Friday. The Bobcats were able to get both their top two players, junior Brian Mikkelson and Hughes, to play in the main draw on Friday, which Quitko called “an honor.”