COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's tennis team had the goods in a trio of tiebreakers – two in singles and another in doubles – to give Jake Lachowicz a special Senior Day gift with a 7-2 Centennial Conference victory over Gettysburg.
Lachowicz and junior Connor DeFaber-Schumacher were at the heart of the action for the Bears (7-9, 2-5), who staved off a glut of set and match points on two different courts.
Tied 1-1 after sophomores Mason Groff and Matt Fontanese edged out an 8-6 decision at No. 1 doubles, Lachowicz and partner DeFaber-Schumacher faced two match points at 15-40 and trailing 6-5. The duo fought off both to hold serve and stay in it and ultimately claimed a 7-5 battle in the tiebreaker.
Armed with a 2-1 edge, the Bears made quick work of wrapping up the match with victories on each of the first three singles courts. Groff took down a 6-0, 6-3 victory at No. 1, and Fontanese pulled out a 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-6) marathon at No. 3.
That set the stage for another miraculous comeback by DeFaber-Schumacher at No. 2. The junior won the first set 6-4 and managed to stave off five set points before locking down the match with a 12-10 triumph in the second-set tiebreak.
Lachowicz put a bow on his Senior Day showcase with a 6-2, 6-0 rout at No. 5.
After Gettysburg picked up a win at sixth singles, freshman Simbarashe Kanjanda provided the final exclamation point with a 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-8) thriller at No. 5.
"I am super proud of this team right now," said head coach Pete Smith. "We have been dealt some really tough situations this year with the men's tennis team and no one has complained. No one has sulked. All they do is show up and work hard every day.
"This conference is a meat grinder. We faced so many great teams already, and it is tough to keep soldiering on when things don't go your way. When the opportunity presents itself to grab a win in this conference, you have to rise up and snatch it. The guys did that today, and they did it with authority. We went 4-0 in tiebreakers today and with evenly matched teams, that is the recipe for success. We played clutch tennis at clutch times.
"One week to go in the season and we still have goals we can achieve. I feel good about what we have done and I give all the credit to the guys. I'm excited to see how we close the season."