Mustangs fall to Ferris State in national quarterfinals

DENVER, CO - Midwestern State's run at its first national championship came to an end Thursday afternoon as the 14th-ranked Mustangs suffered a 5-2 upset at the hands of No. 35 Ferris State (Mich.) in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight at the Gates Tennis Center.

Freshman Nur Adim Ramdani Iswan clinched the match for Ferris State at No. 3 singles to send the Bulldogs to their first Final Four in school history with a 6-1, 7-6 (2) win over junior Chris Norrie. Ferris State improved to 25-4 on the season and will face No. 3 Hawaii Pacific in the national semifinals tomorrow at the Gates Tennis Center. The Sharks recorded a 5-4 comeback victory over No. 8 Valdosta State (Ga.) Thursday afternoon at the Regency Athletic Complex.

Midwestern State ended the season at 17-9, making its fourth trip to the Elite Eight and 14th overall showing in the NCAA Tournament.

Senior Kyle Davidson concluded his four-year career with the Mustangs with a dual record of 124-69 (.642) to finish sixth on the all-time wins list. Fellow senior Zack Santagate also wrapped up an impressive four years with the Maroon and Gold, compiling a 58-31 (.652) career mark while finishing eighth on the career doubles wins list with 56 victories.

The Bulldogs carried the momentum heading into singles play after taking wins on courts one and three for a 2-1 advantage over MSU.

The duo of Alex Brown and Steward Sell recorded an 8-6 victory over Norrie and freshman Benjamin Neander at No. 3 doubles to earn the first point of the afternoon.

However, the Mustangs answered right back as Santagate and freshman Dillon Pineda tallied their fifth-straight win with an 8-6 decision over Daniil Tarantinov and Till von Winning on court two.

Ferris went back in front following the final doubles match with Iswan and Vasil Surduk pulling off an 8-5 upset over the 22nd-ranked pair of Davidson and junior Ramon Toyos at the No. 1 position.

The Bulldogs stretched their lead up to 4-1 early in singles play with von Winning and Tarantinov posting straight-set victories. Von Winning defeated No. 47 Toyos on court two, 6-4, 6-1, before Tarantinov added a 6-4, 6-3 result over Neander at No. 5 singles to put the pressure on MSU.

No. 40 Davidson earned his second singles win at the championships this week, ending the Bulldogs spurt with his fifth-straight victory following a 6-2, 7-6 (8) triumph over Surduk at No. 1 singles for a 4-2 FSU lead.

With Pineda and freshman Dylan Hall in the third set of their respective matches, the attention turned to court three as Iswan went to a second set tiebreaker with Norrie before earning the clincher with a 7-2 win to end the Mustangs run at a national title.

No. 35 Ferris State 5, No. 14 Midwestern State 2
May 19, 2016 at Denver, Colo. (Gates Tennis Center)

Singles Competition
1. No. 40 Kyle Davidson (MSU) def. Vasil Surduk (FS) 6-2, 7-6 (10-8)
2. Till von Winning (FS) def. No. 47 Ramon Toyos (MSU) 6-4, 6-1
3. Nur Adim Ramdani Iswan (FS) def. Chris Norrie (MSU) 6-1, 7-6 (7-2)
4. Dillon Pineda (MSU) vs. Steward Sell (FS) 7-5, 3-6, unfinished
5. Daniil Tarantinov (FS) def. Benjamin Neander (MSU) 6-4, 6-3
6. Dylan Hall (MSU) vs. Simon Levy (FS) 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 0-1, unfinished

Doubles Competition
1. Vasil Surduk/Nur Adim Ramdani Iswan (FS) def. No. 22 Kyle Davidson/Ramon Toyos (MSU) 8-5
2. Dillon Pineda/Zack Santagate (MSU) def. Daniil Tarantinov/Till von Winning (FS) 8-6
3. Alex Brown/Steward Sell (FS) def. Benjamin Neander/Chris Norrie (MSU) 8-6
 
Match Notes:
Ferris State 25-4; National ranking #35; Regional ranking #2
Midwestern State 17-9; National ranking #14; Regional ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,5,1,3)
2016 NCAA Division II Men's Tennis Quarterfinals

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