Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information, here’s this afternoon’s release from the Commonwealth Coast Conference men’s tennis championship:
BRISTOL, R.I. – Sophomore Brandon Roode (Griswold, Conn.) clinched his singles flight 6-2, 6-1 to end the match as the second-seeded Nichols College men’s tennis team claimed its second consecutive Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men’s Tennis Championship with a 5-1 victory over top-seeded Roger Williams on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Bison (18-5) tie the program record for wins in a season and earn the conference’s auto bid to the 2013 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship. Roger Williams ends its season with a 12-7 ledger.
Roode and first-year Eduardo Irizarry (Lajas, Puerto Rico) won their fifth straight match as they cruised to an 8-0 win over graduate student Kevin Erikson (Tolland, Conn.) and senior Jason Pacino (North Reading, Mass.) at the top flight. Graduate student captain David Drucker (Bellmore, N.Y.) and senior Justin DeLuca (Mashpee, Mass.) then moved to 10-0 against CCC competition this season as they topped freshman Jonah Schwartz (Orange, Conn.) and sophomore Ryan Swanson (West Newbury, Mass.), 8-1, at the second flight. Despite erasing a 5-2 deficit, first-years Carlos De La Cruz (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) (11-6) and Josh Halpern (Secaucus, N.J.) fell to sophomore Zack Bussiere (Colchester, Conn.) and freshman Eric Laboissonniere (Cumberland, R.I.), 9-8 (7-3).
The Bison carried a 2-1 lead into the singles session and claimed the second through fourth flights for the 5-1 triumph. Irizarry led the way as he rolled past Junior Taylor Webster (Bristol, Conn.), 6-3, 6-2, to remain undefeated with his 13th win this spring. Drucker followed with his 63rd career victory and 10th against CCC foes this season with a 6-1, 6-4 decision over Laboissonniere. Roode then captured his flight as the Bison earned their fifth overall CCC title.
“Today was another great win,” commented head coach Paul Brower, who has had a team in the national tournament each of the last three springs. “The guys played at a tremendous level from top to bottom. Guys like David Drucker and Justin DeLuca who have been doing it for years. We had freshman step up today. Guys like Eduardo and Josh. Brandon did another great job to close the match. The attitude was great, the play was great. I can’t say enough good things about the way the team played today and the way they handled themselves.
DeLuca was leading Bussiere, the CCC Player of the Year, 6-2, 4-1, while De La Cruz had a 6-4, 5-1 advantage at the conclusion of the match. Halpern and Sophomore Kyle Bull (Pleasantville, N.Y.) were tied at one set apiece when Roode provided the heroics.
The 2013 Bison roster also includes juniors Paul Armstrong (New Preston, Conn.), Paul Healy (Pomfret, Conn), sophomores Andrew Haas (Whitinsville, Mass.), Cam Lewis (Bolton, Mass.), Bradley Minton (Pelham, Ga.), Mathew Paulsen (Billerica, Mass.) and Dan Roman (Tolland, Conn.) as well as first-years Joseph Beasley (Eastham, Mass.), Joseph Munsey (Arlington, Mass.) and Jonathan Roy (Rowley, Mass.).
“I look forward to finding out where we’re headed for the NCAA tournament and hopefully making a run at nationals,’ added Brower.
The 44-team field, as well as Nichols destination, is expected to be revealed on NCAA.com at 7:00 p.m. on Monday. The initial rounds are slated to take place on campus sites beginning on Friday, May 10.