ST. LOUIS, Mo – Denison men's tennis rounded out their fall season this past Friday through Monday, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, after competing in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's 2018 Central Regional tournament located at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Combining for 14 winner's bracket victories, the Big Red enjoyed their most success on the doubles courts where they made two trips to the quarterfinals and earned eight championship wins.
Freshman Tim Cianciola and sophomore Mitchell Thai made DU's first climb through the doubles bracket, defeating Monmouth's Alexander Martin and Joseph Shie in the opening round, 8-2, before repeating the same score against Philippos Alevizopoulos and Omar Santiagonunez Ahumada of Ohio Wesleyan. After edging out a 9-8 win over Tytus Metzler and Ian Yi of Kalamazoo, the tandem's day ended in the quarterfinals when they fell to Case Western's Matthew Chen and Zach Hennessey, 8-4.
Senior's Blake Burstein and Kevin Brown also made their way to the quarterfinals, beating out Wittenberg's Luke Minard and Martin Mora in the first round, 8-6, before moving past William Louiselle and Wyatt Metzger of DePauw by the same score. A third-round victory over Chicago's Alex Guzha and Alejandro Rodriguez, 8-6, brought the senior combo to the quarterfinals where they suffered an 8-4 loss to UC's Charlie Pei and Joshua Xu.
Also earning doubles victories for the Big Red were Vlad Rotnov and Brian Weisberg defeating Arjun Gupta and Hugo Kouhkna of Transylvania, 8-2, and then Jacob Dennen and Patrick McGuigan advancing past Kenyon's Henry Barrett and Henry Wessel.
In singles play, Rotnov and freshman Akshat Agarwal experienced the most success in the winner's bracket as both advanced to the third round. Agarwal's singles play started with an opening round victory over KC's Wessel, 7-6, 7-6, and then a three-set victory against Alvaro Leal from Augustana, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2. The freshman's singles tournament would end in the third round after falling to Kenyon's Brian Yoshino, 6-1, 6-1.
Rotnov also opened single's play against an NCAC-foe in the form of Witt's Gavin Tay, moving to the second round with a 6-1, 6-0 victory. After earning a second-round win in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, over Millikin's Jacob Palley, Rotnov fell in the round of 32 to Chicago's Rodriguez, 6-4, 6-4.
Cianciola and Thai also garnered winner's bracket victories for DU.
In the consolation bracket, McGuigan reached the third round of play thanks to a sweeping 6-0, 6-0 victory over Israel Trevino, while Dennen compiled a straight-set 6-2, 6-2 win against Kenyon's Barrett to also advance to the third round.
Following an impressive fall season, the Big Red will return to the courts on Sunday, February 3 when they travel to Toledo, Ohio to take on NCAA Division I's University of Toledo at 1 p.m.