WMU News

Men's tennis team wins MAC championship

April 26, 2004

MUNCIE, Ind.--Already in possession of the Mid-American Conference regular season title, Western Michigan University's men's tennis team captured the 2004 MAC Tournament title with a 4-2 victory over Northern Illinois Saturday.

With the win, the top-seeded Broncos earned a berth in the NCAA championships for the third time in the past six years. WMU made its last postseason appearance in 2001.

WMU's 18 total MAC championships in men's tennis ties Miami University for the most in league history. The Broncos have now claimed conference championships in four sports during 2003-04, including men's basketball and men's and women's soccer titles.

"I was very happy with the way we competed today," head coach Dave Morin said. "Our backs were against the wall and our guys were able to make the necessary adjustments and have the will to win."

Things did not look good early for the Broncos. Northern Illinois were able to claim the doubles point with wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. The NIU victories meant the Broncos had to claim four of the six singles contests.

WMU proved equal to the task, capturing wins at No. 2, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 singles. Junior Tommy Dennis dropped his first set before rallying for a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 win and sophomore Jose Orozco was also forced to post a come-from-behind win at No. 3. Sophomore Jeff French, a part-timer in the singles lineup, came through in a big way at No. 6, earning a straight-set win over NIU's Stephen Guntly. Freshman Brady Crosby clinched the win for WMU with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) victory at the No. 4 spot.

"I am extremely proud of the team and the way the guys turned it around at the end," Morin said. "They deserve the thrill of competing in the postseason."

MAC Tournament Final
WMU vs. Northern Illinois
April 24, 2004

1. Gali/Forsberg (NIU) def. Pathanjali/French (WMU) 8-3
2. Barriga/Martinez (NIU) def. Crosby/Dennis (WMU) 8-6
3. Grupp/Orozco (WMU) vs. Komar/Guntly (NIU) 7-7 DNF

1. Willy Gali (NIU) def. Ravi Pathanjali (WMU) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
2. Tommy Dennis (WMU) def. Juan-Pablo Barriga (NIU) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
3. Jose Orozco (WMU) def. Erick Martinez (NIU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
4. Brady Crosby* (WMU) def. Jack Komar (NIU) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
5. Justin Kates (WMU) vs. Aaron Forsberg (NIU) 2-6, 6-4, 5-4 DNF (NIU)
6. Jeff French (WMU) def. Stephen Guntly (NIU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-3

Media contact: Scott Kuykendall, 269 387-4138, scott.kuykendall@wmich.edu

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