Nichols Men’s Tennis Tops Colby-Sawyer In NCAA D3 First Round


Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s today’s release from the men’s tennis match against Colby-Sawyer in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament. The Bison will face nationally-ranked host Williams college tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.:

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Graduate student captain David Drucker (Bellmore, N.Y.) delivered the decisive fifth point as the Nichols College men’s tennis team blanked Colby-Sawyer, 5-0, in the 2013 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championship First round hosted by Williams College on Thursday morning. The squad’s second NCAA tournament victory also sets the program record for single-season wins as the Bison improve to 19-5 on the year. Nichols will face nationally-ranked host Williams tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

Drucker, already the program’s all-time singles and doubles record holder, extended his lead with his 64th singles victory to clinch the match with a 6-1, 6-0 decision. Earlier in the contest, Drucker teamed with senior Justin DeLuca (Mashpee, Mass.)to post an 8-1 win for his 57th doubles triumph.

Sophomore Brandon Roode (Griswold, Conn.) and first-year Eduardo Irizarry (Lajas, Puerto Rico) did not surrender a game and posted the first Bison point in their second-straight match with an 8-0 decision over Nathan Taschereau and Reeve Fidler. The rookie duo of Carlos De La Cruz (Santo Domingo, Dominican Repuiblic) and Josh Halpern (Secaucus, N.J.) then finished off Clay Allen and Paul Holland 8-1 at the third flight. Drucker and DeLuca closed out the doubles session with an 8-1 victory of their own as Nichols staked a 3-0 lead.

Irizarry raced out to a 6-0, 6-0 win at the third flight to set the stage for Drucker to send the Bison into the second round for the team’s second appearance in as many years.

“It was another great win for us,” remarked head coach Paul Brower. “The guys played very, very well today. It was a great start in doubles. We came out hot and really took it to them. In singles we closed fast. The level of play was high. Hopefully we can carry it into tomorrow against one of the toughest teams in the nation. We’re looking forward to the challenge and I think our guys are going to have a strong showing against some of the best out there.”

Nichols was ahead at the four remaining singles flights when the match was concluded. Roode held a 6-1, 4-1 lead at the second flight while Halpern was up 6-3, 2-1. DeLuca took his first set 6-1 and De La Cruz posted a 6-2 initial set as both were up 1-0 in the second set.

Nichols Men’s Tenis Captures Second Straight CCC Crown


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 at 7:00 p.m. on Monday. The initial rounds are slated to take place on campus sites beginning on Friday, May 10.

Nichols Tennis Advances To CCC Championship Against Roger Williams


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.

Nichols Tennis Tabbed 18th In ITA Regional Rankings


Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s their release from last night on the men’s tennis team, who earned its first regional ranking in program history from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA):

DUDLEY, Mass. – The Nichols College men’s tennis team earned its first regional ranking in program history from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) and checked in at No. 18 while sophomore Brandon Roode (Griswold, Conn.) fell three spots to No. 15 in the singles rankings.

“I am excited that our program has been recognized with a regional ranking,” commented head coach Paul Brower. “It is a real tribute to the work our guys have put in and the talent they bring to the table. I am incredibly happy for guys like David Drucker, Justin Deluca, and Brandon Roode who have been here and our three freshmen, Eduardo Irizarry, Carlos De La Cruz, and Josh Halpern who have helped us elevate our game to a new level. It is a great feeling to be recognized among the best in our region, and a true testament to guys like Steve Carella ’12 and Tyler McLaughlin ‘11 who helped lay the ground work that brought our program to this level. I am fortunate to coach such a tremendous group of guys.”

The Bison, coming off the first NCAA tournament win for any program in the spring, had a strong fall defeating Coast Guard and Springfield to go 2-2 against the NEWMAC and notched a key win over Wesleyan (Conn.). Nichols only obstacles came against newly minted #6 MIT and #16 Babson.

Led by Roode and first-year Eduardo Irizarry (Lajas, Puerto Rico), the Bison blanked Division I Holy Cross, 7-0, to kick off the spring portion of the schedule. Nichols then embarked on an ambitious spring break trip that included an appointment with Division I Connecticut. Despite a 5-2 setback, Irizarry and senior Justin DeLuca (Mashpee, Mass.) each won their singles flights as Irizarry and Roode took down the Huskies top pairing, 9-8 (7-5).  Later that day, Brower’s lineup rebounded by blanking Mass.-Boston, 9-0.

Following an off-day due to rain, the Bison claimed a 7-2 victory over regionally-ranked Hobart. Irizarry and Roode did their part by upsetting the 10th-ranked team in the region at the time, 8-2, before claiming their respective singles flights. DeLuca and, second-year captain, graduate student David Drucker (Bellmore, N.Y.) also picked up a singles and doubles win against the Statesmen to go along with a victory by first-year Josh Halpern (Secaucus, N.J.). The Bison went on to roll past North Central (Ill.), 7-2, and blank Lawrence, 9-0.

Nichols then opened its Commonwealth Coast Conference slate on Thursday with a 9-0 triumph at Western New England as the squad claimed its sixth consecutive CCC opener. The match saw Drucker move closer to taking over the career wins records in both singles and doubles from Steve Carella ’12. The second-year captain is one win shy of tying the singles record of 54 and four away from the doubles benchmark (50).

Roode has posted a 5-1 ledger in singles action with his only blemish coming against the Division I Huskies while boasting a 6-0 record at doubles this spring. In addition to being instrumental in the 7-0 win against local Division I foe Holy Cross, the sophomore helped produce a pair of points against regionally-ranked Hobart.

The Bison head to nationally-ranked Amherst on Saturday for an 11:00 a.m. rematch of last year’s NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championship Second Round.