MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The 27th-ranked Drake men's tennis squad added another monumental victory in program history on Saturday (March 2) as the Bulldogs knocked off No. 14 Washington, 4-3, to extend their winning streak to 13 straight.
"This was a tremendous weekend for the Drake Men's Tennis program earning great victories over Minnesota and Washington," Drake head coach Davidson Kozlowski commented. "One of our goals this season was to achieve the highest ranking in school history and we reached that this week. Another was to beat Minnesota and the guys did that as well this weekend. To beat a team of Washington's caliber after losing the doubles point is extremely difficult and I couldn't be prouder of the guy's effort."
The outlook looked challenging for the Bulldogs after the Huskies claimed wins at the top-two doubles positions to assume a 1-0 lead.
Sophomore Alen Salibasic (Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina) evened the affair at one after opening singles action with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph past Emmett Egger at the No. 4 hole.
In a battle of national-ranked foes on the Nos. 1 and 2 courts, Washington proved victorious at both positions to regain a 3-1 lead.
The Bulldogs were not daunted by the deficit as senior Jean Erasmus (Windhoek, Namibia) brought Drake to within one, 3-2, after registering a 6-1, 6-4 win versus Viktor Farkas at the No. 5 slot.
Junior Robin Goodman (Cambridge, England) netted the equalizer on the No. 3 court after downing Max Manthou in three sets, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.
In a bit of pre-match strategy Kozlowski inserted freshman Ben Lott (Newcastle, England) into the singles lineup at the No. 6 position.
After dropping his initial set against Jeff Hawke, Lott rallied back to claim a 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 triumph to give the Bulldogs the victory.
"I made a pre-match decision to place Ben (Lott) into the singles lineup and I felt the pressure placing a young freshman in that situation where the match could come down to him," said Kozlowski. "For him to come up with a three-set win that clinches the match, my satisfaction could not be higher. I'm thrilled for him and what this can do for his confidence. I just had a gut feeling that he would come up big indoors with his serve and huge backhand and he used both to come up big in the match."
Washington is the highest-ranked opponent Drake has knocked off in school history.
The Bulldogs return to action on March 17 as Drake travels to Orlando, Fla., for a 2:00 p.m. match versus Stetson.
NO. 27 DRAKE (13-1) DEF. NO. 14 WASHINGTON (9-5), 4-3
MARCH 2, 2013 • MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.
No. 1 No. 19 Kyle McMorrow (UW) def. No. 49 Anis Ghorbel (DU), 6-2, 6-4.
No. 2 No. 116 Marton Bots (UW) def. No. 96 James McKie (DU), 6-4, 7-5
No. 3 Robin Goodman (DU) def. Max Manthou (UW), 6-0, 5-7, 6-4
No. 4 No. 121 Alen Salibasic (DU) def. Emmett Egger (UW), 6-1, 6-2
No. 5 Jean Erasmus (DU) def. Viktor Farkas (UW), 6-1, 6-4
No. 6 Ben Lott (DU) def. Jeff Hawke (UW), 3-6, 6-2, 7-5
Order of finish: 4,1,2,5,3,6
No. 1 Egger/McMorrow (UW) def. Erasmus/Salibasic (DU), 8-2
No. 2 Hudson Barnhart/Manthou (UW) def. Lott/McKie (DU), 8-6
No. 3 Ghorbel/Goodman (DU) def. Bots/Hawke (UW), 8-5
Order of finish: 1,3,2