Nichols Tennis Advances To CCC Championship Against Roger Williams

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s last night’s release from the men’s tennis conference semifinals match:

WORCESTER, Mass. – First-year Eduardo Irizarry (Lajas, Puerto Rico) clinched the match with a 6-2, 6-2 singles victory to send the second-seeded Nichols College men’s tennis team to its third consecutive Commonwealth Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Championship match with a 5-0 triumph over third-seeded Eastern Nazarene on Wednesday at the Assumption College Tennis Courts. With the win, the Bison improve to 17-5 on the season while the Lions end their campaign 11-8.

After falling behind 1-0 at the top doubles flight, Irizarry and sophomore Brandon Roode (Griswold, Conn.) cruised to an 8-2 victory over senior Austin Steelman (Darlington, Md.) and sophomore Sam Son (Wilbraham, Mass.). Graduate student captain David Drucker (Bellmore, N.Y.) and senior Justin DeLuca (Mashpee, Mass.) followed as they topped sophomore Sam McKay-Corkum (Rehoboth, Mass.) and junior Tim Luz (Cumberland, R.I.), 8-1, at the second flight. The Bison then claimed a 3-0 lead heading into the singles session as first-years Carlos De La Cruz (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) and Josh Halpern (Secaucus, N.J.) overcame a 2-1 deficit to defeat sophomore Tyler Perron (Plympton, Mass.) and junior Nick Thompson (York, Pa.), 8-3, at the third flight.

Drucker notched the fourth point of the match as he posted a 6-1, 6-1 singles victory at the third flight over Son. Irizarry then sent everyone home as he topped McKay-Corkum at the second singles flight.

Halpern was next in line to earn a victory as he was one game away (6-3, 5-0) from taking down freshman Kevin Paterno (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Roode, the 20th-ranked student-athlete in the region, was leading Steelman, 6-4, 4-2 in a battle of All-CCC First Team members when the match was decided. Steelman had staked an early 1-0 lead in the first set and had a 5-4 advantage before Roode won the last two games. Junior Paul Healy (Pomfret, Conn.) cracked the lineup and was tied 2-2 in the second set with Perron after taking the first set 6-2. De La Cruz and Luz were knotted at 5-5 in the first set at the conclusion of the contest.

“Doubles were extremely dominant today,” remarked head coach Paul Brower. “Josh and Carlos down at three played a great match. Brandon and Eduardo were fantastic and David and Justin were solid as they have been all year long. In singles we came out possessed and fortunately we were able to end this one quick. If we play like this on Saturday, we’re going to be in great shape as far as closing out the conference tournament.”

Nichols heads to top-seeded Roger Williams on Saturday for the Commonwealth Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Championship match. The two squads have met in the previous two title tilts with each team earning a victory. The Bison captured last year’s crown with a 6-1 triumph. First serve is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

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