April 30, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- The WMU men's tennis team came up a little short in its quest to make a repeat trip to the NCAA Tournament with a 4-2 loss to Ball State in the title match of the 2000 Mid-American Conference Men's Tennis Tournament on Saturday (April 29) in Toledo, Ohio.
The Broncos lost two of the three doubles matches to fall behind 1-0. WMU battled in singles play, going three sets in three of the matches.
Jeff Brink and Fernando Garcia fell 8-6 at No. 2 doubles while Kyle Gernhofer and Ryan Maarschalk lost 8-2 in the No. 3 doubles match. Steve Pillon and Ryan Tomlinson trailed 7-6 in the No. 1 doubles contest but did not finish that match.
Pillon and Brink accounted for the Broncos' lone points with wins at No. 2 and 6 singles, respectively.
Pillon defeated BSU's Jason Pressel 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 while Brink won in straight sets (6-3, 6-3) against the Cardinals' Eric Butorac. Christian Brattstrom was defeated 6-2, 6-4 at No. 3 while Tomlinson lost 7-5, 6-4 at No. 4. Gernhofer lost a hard-fought 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) decision at No. 5. Garcia trailed Ryan Baxter 3-6, 6-1, 6-5 at No. 1 before play was suspended.
WMU head coach Dave Morin was named MAC Co-Coach of the Year on Saturday for leading his nationally ranked Broncos to the conference championship. Morin has been selected MAC Coach of the Year three times during his career. He has earned it twice at Western Michigan (1998, 2000) and once as head coach at Bowling Green (1994).
Bronco senior Kyle Gernhofer won the Jack Vredevelt Sportsmanship Award, named after the longtime WMU coach. Gernhofer ranks No. 11 on WMU's all-time wins list with 144 career victories. He is a two-time all-conference academic selection and was a GTE Academic All-District IV player last season.
The All-MAC First and Second Teams will be announced on Tuesday, May 2.
Western Michigan and Ball State have played for the MAC title three straight seasons. WMU won the 1999 MAC Tournament and earned the first automatic NCAA Tournament bid in conference and program history. The Broncos captured a share of the 2000 MAC title with their 4-3 victory over Ball State.
WMU is now 14-9 in all matches.
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