Bulls Fall Short in MAC Semifinals to Toledo, 4-3
KALAMAZOO, MI – The University at Buffalo men's tennis team's quest for a second consecutive appearance in the championship match fell short on Friday afternoon as the Bulls were eliminated by Toledo, 4-3, in the semifinals at the Mid-American Conference Championships at Western Michigan University's Sorensen Courts.
After dropping the doubles point, the third-seeded Bulls took a 3-1 lead with victories in the first singles matches to come to a conclusion.
In the number six match, Alex Kalinin scored a straight sets victory over Terence Weigand, 6-2, 6-3. George Tibil, at number three, won his match over Mircea Dimofte, 6-1, 6-4, for a 2-1 lead. The Bulls grabbed the 3-1 lead as Marcelo Mazzetto, in what turned out to be the final match of his four-year career, defeated Gursher Harika, 6-0, 6-4.
After Toledo won the number two and one matches, the semifinal came down to the number five match between UB's Jason Simon and Toledo's Bryant Dudzik. After Dudzik scored a 7-5 win in the first set, Simon forced a third set by claiming the second set by a 6-2 margin. After trailing 2-1, Simon jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the final set but dropped the next four games for the 6-4 decision.
"I am proud of the way we fought through a tough mid-year," stated UB head coach Lee Nickell following the match. "We didn't take advantage of opportunities today and Toledo did a good job of capturing momentum when they were ahead. I am proud of the seniors and what they have helped us accomplish in the past two years. We will miss them."
The Bulls conclude the season with a 12-8 overall mark as the loss to the Rockets snapped a six-match winning streak. Toledo (24-9), seeded second, will meet fourth-seed Ball State, who upset top seed Western Michigan, 4-3, for the MAC Championship on Saturday.
Kalinin was named to the MAC's All-Tournament team. He won both of his matches with a victory at number five against Chicago State and number six against Toledo.
Toledo 4, Buffalo 3
1 Aleksandar Elezovic (UT) d. Wojceich Starakiewicz (UB), 6-4, 6-4
2 Knot Likitkumchorn (UT) d. Vusa Hove (UB), 7-6 (5), 6-4
3 George Tibil (UB) d. Mircea Dimofte (UT), 6-1, 6-4
4 Marcelo Mazzetto (UB) d. Gursher Harika (UT), 6-0, 6-4
5 Bryant Dudzik (UT) d. Jason Simon (UB), 7-5, 2-6, 6-4
6 Alex Kalinin (UB) d. Terence Weigand (UT), 6-2, 6-3
Order of finish: 6, 3, 4, 2, 1, 5
1 Aleksandar Elezovic/Sven Burus (UT) d. Wojceich Starakiewicz/Mitch Zenaty (UB), 8-7 (1)
2 Knot Likitkumchorn/Leo Sarria (UT) d. Marcelo Mazzetto/Travis Zappia (UB), 8-5
3 Mircea Dimofte/Bryant Dudzik (UT) led George Tibil/Vusa Hove (UB), 7-6 DNF
Order of finish: 2, 1