Eagles Take Home 1st Tourney Title, Alabama Bound
RICHMOND, Ind. – A historic season for Asbury’s men’s tennis team will be capped off with the program’s first trip to the NAIA National Tournament, after securing the KIAC’s automatic bid with a 5-1 win over Indiana Southeast in the KIAC Tournament Championship match.
The Eagles won the KIAC Regular Season Title after a perfect 5-0 league mark and at 14-6 overall hold the school record for wins. It is only the third time the program has won the KIAC Regular Season, and first since 1998, and it is only the third double-digit win total in a program that dates back to the 1970’s.
On Saturday the Eagles defeated Indiana Southeast 5-1, the match was stopped once Asbury had secured the team win with their fifth victory. The Eagles took two of three doubles matches, winning at number one and number three.
Nathan Schley and Scott Layton improved to 15-2 in number one doubles, defeating Kevin Sacksteder and Tyler Jackson 8-6 to pick up their second victory of the season over the pair. Justin Westlund and Daniel Harris were also winners on the doubles side for Asbury, taking down Shane Burke and Edgar Moso 8-6 as well. Braun Applegate and Stephen Woods nearly pulled off the doubles sweep for the Eagles, falling 9-8(3) to Evan Biesterveld and Jordan Kelsey.
In singles action Scott Layton wasted no time, breezing past Kelsey 6-1, 6-3 at the second position. Fellow freshmen Stephen Woods and Daniel Harris were the deciding factors in the match as Woods defeated Biesterveld 6-0, 7-5 and Harris took down Jackson 7-5, 7-6 to clinch the match and the title.
Asbury’s Nathan Schley was leading at number one in the third and Indiana Southeast’s Shane Burke and Jimmy Nungester were ahead at number three and six when the match was halted.
The 2012 NAIA National Tournament will be held at the Mobile Tennis Complex in Mobile, Ala. Matches will begin on Tuesday, May 15 at 1 pm for the men, the women’s tournament is run concurrently with the men’s. The men’s is a 24-team field with the top-eight receiving a bye to the second round.
Qualifiers and pairings are expected to be announced on Tuesday, May 8.