TEN: Mustang Men Reach Elite 8 with Win

DENVER, CO - The 14th-ranked Midwestern State men's tennis team advanced to their third NCAA Division II Elite Eight in the last four seasons Wednesday evening with a 5-2 win over No. 19 Southeastern Oklahoma State in a NCAA Sweet 16 matchup at the Regency Athletic Complex.

Midwestern State outlasted Southeastern Oklahoma State in a three and a half hour match with senior Kyle Davidson sending the Mustangs into the national quarterfinals with a 3-6, 7-6, 6-2 clincher over Max Fil at No. 1 singles.

Midwestern State avenged a 6-3 loss to the Savage Storm back in April at the MSU Tennis Center to earn its fourth trip to the Elite Eight in program history, also moving on to the national quarterfinals in 2006, 2013 and 2014. With the win, the Mustangs improve to 17-8 on the season and will face No. 35 Ferris State (Mich.) in the Elite Eight tomorrow at 2 p.m. (CT) at the Gates Tennis Center in Denver. The Bulldogs defeated No. 17 Concordia (N.Y.), 5-4, today to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time in 12 seasons.

Southeastern Oklahoma State ended its season at 16-3 in its first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.

After an hour delay to the start of Wednesday's action and a lengthy match prior to the Mustangs taking the court, Midwestern began play almost four hours after its scheduled 3 p.m. (CT) start.

The Mustangs started the match off strong, sweeping doubles action for the 10th time this season with a pair of comeback wins on courts one and three.

The duo of senior Zack Santagate and freshman Dillon Pineda put the Mustangs on the board first with their fourth-straight victory following an 8-4 decision over Netanel Alcabas and Alberto Blesa at No. 2 doubles.

Junior Chris Norrie and freshman Benjamin Neander added to the MSU lead moments later with an 8-4 victory of their own, erasing a 4-2 deficit to defeat Petar Popovic and Jack Gibbens on court three.

At the No. 1 position, the 22nd-ranked duo of Davidson and junior Ramon Toyos stormed back from a 6-3 deficit to earn a thrilling 9-8 (3) tiebreaker win over Fil and Tiago Ferreira to complete the doubles sweep.

The Savage Storm began singles play by taking first sets on four of the six courts before coming away with a pair of straight-set wins to pull within 3-2. Popovic put SOSU on the board first with a 6-2, 6-3 win over freshman Dylan Hall at No. 6 singles while Blesa gave the Savage Storm their second point of the night with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Pineda on court four.

On court two, No. 47 Toyos carried the Mustangs to a 4-2 lead with a 7-6, 6-2 triumph over Alcabas before Davidson finished off the Savage Storm with his win at No. 1.

No. 14 Midwestern State 5, No. 19 Southeastern Oklahoma State 2
May 18, 2016 at Denver, Colo. (Regency Athletic Complex)

Singles Competition
1. No. 40 Kyle Davidson (MSU) def. Max Fil (SOSU) 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2
2. No. 47 Ramon Toyos (MSU) def. Netanel Alcabas (SOSU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
3. Jack Gibbens (SOSU) vs. Chris Norrie (MSU) 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, unfinished
4. Alberto Blesa (SOSU) def. Dillon Pineda (MSU) 6-3, 6-3
5. Tiago Ferreira (SOSU) vs. Benjamin Neander (MSU) 1-6, 7-6 (7-4), 3-5, unfinished
6. Petar Popovic (SOSU) def. Dylan Hall (MSU) 6-3, 6-3

Doubles Competition
1. No. 22 Kyle Davidson/Ramon Toyos (MSU) def. Max Fil/Tiago Ferreira (SOSU) 9-8 (7-3)
2. Zack Santagate/Dillon Pineda (MSU) def. Netanel Alcabas/Alberto Blesa (SOSU) 8-4
3. Chris Norrie/Benjamin Neander (MSU) def. Petar Popovic/Jack Gibbens (SOSU) 8-4

Match Notes:
Midwestern State 17-8; National ranking #14; Regional ranking #1
SE Oklahoma 16-3; National ranking #19; Regional ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (6,4,2,1)
NCAA II Round of 16

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