April 23, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- WMU's men's and women's tennis teams won their respective regular season Mid-American Conference titles this weekend. This is the second consecutive MAC regular season title for each team.
Both teams now prepare for conference championships beginning Thursday. Western Michigan University hosts the MAC Women's Tennis Championships at Sorenson Courts (alternate site West Hills Athletic Club) April 27-30. The men's championships are at Toledo April 27-29.
WMU Men's Tennis (13-8 overall, 5-1 MAC)
The WMU men's tennis team captured its second consecutive Mid-American Conference championship with a 4-3 victory over Ball State on Saturday (April 22) at Sorensen Courts.
The Broncos finished the regular season 5-1 in MAC play, 13-8 in all matches. WMU captured consecutive conference titles for the first time since the 1964-65 teams accomplished that feat.
"The guys really stepped up big time with the win," Western Michigan head coach Dave Morin said. "We had a disappointing loss last week but I think that helped in our focus. We got off to a great start in doubles and getting that point was big. We didn1t want to relax after doubles."
The Broncos swept the three doubles matches to jump out to a 1-0 lead. Steve Pillon and Ryan Tomlinson won 8-6 at No. 1. Fernando Garcia and Jeff Brink teamed up to win 8-5 at No. 2 while Kyle Gernhofer and Ryan Maarschalk were 8-4 victors in the No. 3 doubles contest.
WMU fell behind in the singles play and lost at No. 1, 2 and 3. Western Michigan rallied with wins in the final three matches. Gernhofer scored the decisive point in his final home match.
"We got down early and I thought we were in trouble," Morin said. "Fernando, Christian (Brattsrom), and Kyle were all down and Steve was getting beat. Kyle came back to win. For him to do that was huge. Ryan also came through big time."
Western Michigan will try and clinch its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance when the 2000 MAC Men1s Tennis Championship begins April 27 in Toledo, Ohio.
"It's been a very satisfying year," Morin added. "We're MAC champs, we've beaten Big 10 teams, and we're nationally ranked. We're still focused in on doing more."
WMU Women's Tennis (16-6 overall, 8-1 MAC)
The WMU women's tennis team clinched its second straight Mid-American Conference title with a 7-0 win at Buffalo on Saturday.
The Broncos finished the regular season 8-1 in MAC play, 16-6 overall. WMU won consecutive MAC titles for the first time ever on Saturday. Western Michigan has won six MAC titles under head coach Betsy Kuhle's guidance.
It's awesome," Kuhle said. "We're playing our best tennis of the year right now and looking forward to the tournament."
Western Michigan did not lose a single set in singles play, winning four of the matches 6-0, 6-0. WMU won the three doubles contests by a combined 24-5 score. Seniors Diana Dimitrescu and Kendra Becker finished the year 8-0 in conference doubles play after winning 8-1 against the Bulls in No. 2 doubles action. Dimitrescu improved to 8-0 in MAC singles by defeating UB's Karen Maynard 6-0, 6-0. Becker recorded her 26th singles match of the year by knocking off the Bulls' Shani Amarasinghe 6-0, 6-0 in No. 4 singles play.
WMU hosts the MAC Women's Tennis Championships beginning Thursday (April 27).
"We're in a good situation," Kuhle added. "We're looking forward to getting back to the NCAA Tournament. We're fired up."
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