LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Drake men’s tennis team has been rewriting its history book all season and it was only fitting that one of the cornerstones of the program in senior James McKie (Edinburgh, Scotland) clinched the Bulldogs’ first-ever NCAA Tournament victory, 4-1, over No. 34 TCU on Friday (May 10) at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
The triumph catapulted No. 31 Drake into a meeting with top-ranked UCLA on Saturday (May 11) at 5:00 p.m. CT. The win also established a new single-season record for victories, as the Bulldogs now own a 25-3 ledger.
The Bulldogs knew they were in for a battle in the doubles competition, as the point would prove to be key to Drake’s chances for victory.
The Bulldogs jumped out to 3-1, 4-1 and 3-1 leads on courts Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, before the Horned Frogs mounted comebacks on each of the three courts.
The tandem of senior Jean Erasmus (Windhoek, Namibia) and junior Robin Goodman (Cambridge, England) led throughout their affair at No. 3 versus Arnau Dachs and Orlando Superlano en route to an 8-6 victory. The emotion exuded out following the triumph as the two embraced at center court after placing Drake on the precipice of earning the doubles point.
The duo of seniors Anis Ghorbel (Sfax, Tunisia) and McKie saw Nick Chappell and Will Stein register a come-from-behind 8-6 victory to force a winner-take-all match at No. 2.
All attention shifted to the No. 2 court where sophomore Alen Salibasic (Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina) and freshman Ben Lott (Newcastle, England) were holding onto a slim 7-6 advantage against Max Stevens and JT Sundling. The TCU duo held a 30-15 lead in the game before double faulting to square the game at 30-30. The Bulldogs scored the next two points, including a sideline smash from Lott that provided Drake the doubles point.
Erasmus extended the Bulldogs' lead in singles to 2-0 after besting Rodolfo Bustamante at the No. 5 position, 6-1, 6-2.
The momentum kept rolling as Salibasic registered a 6-4, 6-1 decision past Facundo Lugones on court No. 4.
TCU claimed its lone point in the affair as Sundling notched a 6-3, 6-2 decision over sophomore Ben Mullis (Leicestershire, England) at No. 6.
Attention then turned to the No. 2 court where McKie was battling Superlano. McKie captured the opening set, 6-3, before falling behind 5-4 in the second frame. In the top-five all-time at Drake in victories, McKie refused to fail as he mounted a furious comeback that resulted in a 7-5 triumph.
NO. 31 DRAKE (25-3) DEF. NO. 34 TCU (18-10), 4-1
MAY 10, 2013 • LOS ANGELES, CALIF.
No. 1 No. 116 Nick Chappell (TCU) leading No. 65 Anis Ghorbel (DU), 6-1, 3-6, 2-1 unfinished
No. 2 James McKie (DU) def. Orlando Superlano (TCU), 6-3, 7-5
No. 3 Robin Goodman (DU) leading Arnau Dachs (TCU), 6-4, 2-3 unfinished
No. 4 Alen Salibasic (DU) def. Facundo Lugones (TCU), 6-4, 6-1
No. 5 Jean Erasmus (DU) def. Rodolfo Bustamante (TCU), 6-1, 6-2
No. 6 JT Sundling (TCU) def. Ben Mullis (DU), 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: 5,4,6,2
No. 1 Chappell/Will Stein (TCU) def. Ghorbel/McKie (DU), 8-6
No. 2 Ben Lott/Salibasic (DU) def. Max Stevens/JT Sundling (TCU), 9-7
No. 3 Erasmus/Goodman (DU) def. Dachs/Superlano (TCU), 8-6
Order of Finish: 3,1,2