|Redbird men’s tennis has strong finish to fall season|
|Written by Sam Isdale, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Monday, 12 November 2012 23:16|
The Illinois State men’s tennis team closed out its 2012 fall season in successful fashion after the entire team traveled to Louisville, Ky., for its last fall tournament of 2012, where the team earned the doubles title and two singles titles for ISU.
“The weekend went extremely well for the team, [we won] 20 matches and [lost] 4,” Cris James, head coach, said. “I really don’t think we could have done better.”
Consistency and toughness were two key components that James was looking for to end the season with, as spring training started yesterday in the indoor courts in Bloomington.
Days 1 & 2
Duo Alexander Pelaez and Muddappa Appanervanda bested Ji Hoon Heo and Nathan Martin of Morehead State in doubles, 8-3, while Michael Sellitto and Erik Brunskog defeated Amaury Derognat and Jonathan Kuhn of Louisville, 8-4.
“Generally as a whole I think the team did very well,” James said. “Alex Pelaez and Muddappa Appanervanda stuck out in the group all weekend long.”
To advance to the semifinals, Pelaez beat Henrique Norbiato of Belmont, 6-3, 6-2, and then triumphed over Heo, 6-2, 6-2. Jacob Wilson also bested Van Damrongsri of Louisville, 6-0, 3-6, 6-1, and Daniel Bednarczyk of Louisville, 7-6(6), 6-3.
Pelaez and Appanervanda went undefeated for all three days.
“Jacob Wilson played good this weekend along with Muddappa and Alex,” James said. “These three were leading the way for the Louisville Invitational.”
Wilson received third place for his weekend efforts.
After a first round bye, Sellitto conquered Gonzalo Garcia of Louisville, 7-5, 6-0, while Brunskog defeated Fernando Mussolini of Belmont, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, but then lost in the quarter final round to Luis Elizondo of Louisville, 7-5, 6-0.
Appanervanda fought against Kevin Deligny of Morehead State, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, to move on to the semifinals.
Day 3 – Finals
“I am very happy with the progress we have made this fall,” James said. “I can only hope the men will stay on top of their game throughout the winter as we have a long break leading up to our first tournament of 2013.”
Nearing the end of the tournament, Pelaez and Appanervanda defeated Renato Antun and Fernando Mussolini of Belmont, 8-4, in the semifinal round of doubles. To win the doubles title, the ISU duo conquered Elizondo and Colton Buffington of Louisville in an 8-3 decision.
On the singles side, Pelaez beat Antun, 6-3, 6-1, in order to advance to the final round of singles play. Then he beat Elizondo, 6-3, 6-1, to win the flight A singles title.
Appanervanda dominated Hugo Almonte of Morehead State, 6-1, 6-0, allowing him to advance to the final round. He then defeated David Clifford of Morehead State, 6-1, 7-5, to receive the flight B singles title.
In the semifinals, Sellitto lost to Clifford, 7-5, 6-1, while Wilson fell to Elizondo, 6-2, 6-2. Brunskog bested Heo, 6-1, 6-2, to come in fifth place.
Despite the conclusion of the 2012 season, the men’s tennis team will continue to practice and train on their own during winter break.
“It’s harder to know if the players are practicing over long breaks,” James said. “I know they are competitive so I am pretty positive they will continue to work on their play without me around.”
The Redbirds will take a break until 2013 where they will compete in the Missouri Valley Conference Individual Championships on Jan. 18, 2013 in Des Moines, Iowa.