Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's tennis team kept its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) title aspirations alive with a thrilling 5-4 triumph over archrival Grand Valley State in an epic overnight showdown on Tuesday (April 15) in Grandville.
The league tilt went down to the final match at number six singles to determine the team winner and the Bulldogs received an exciting three-set triumph from Andre Giacomazzi Serafim to pull out the win. He claimed the first set 6-3, but fell in a tiebreaker while battling leg cramps in the second set 7-6 (7-5) before recording a 6-3 win in the deciding winner take-all third set.
The victory was FSU's eighth league win in a row as Ferris State moved to 8-2 in the conference standings and 9-12 overall. GVSU fell to 15-8 on the year and 7-4 in the GLIAC with the setback in its final regular-season match.
The contest began late Tuesday night due to available indoor court space at the Ramblewood Tennis & Health Club and ended in the early morning hours on Wednesday with a good crowd on hand.
Ferris State jumped in front early by taking the top two doubles flights for an early 2-1 edge heading into the singles round. The Bulldogs' Laurent Galarneau and Aaron Dial were 8-4 winners at the number one flight with Otto Keresztes and Laurent Mailloux picking up an 8-5 triumph at second doubles.
Galarneau got the Bulldogs off on the right foot in singles play with a straight-set victory at the top position in the lineup, but GVSU fought back for straight-set wins at the second and third spots in the lineup.
Keresztes recorded his second victory of the evening with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 win at the fourth flight before GVSU's Andrew Bole earned a 6-1, 6-1 triumph at the fifth spot to force the deciding match at six singles.
The Bulldog victory, which was FSU's eighth overall in its last nine contests this season, sets up another big showdown against perennial conference champion Northwood in FSU's final regular-season league tilt on Thursday (April 17) at the FSU Racquet and Fitness Center. Match time in Big Rapids is set for 2 p.m. (ET).
The Timberwolves currently lead the league race by a half-game over the Bulldogs with an 8-1 league record and must also still face Wayne State, which is tied with the Bulldogs at 8-2 in the conference standings. FSU beat the Warriors 6-3 on April 6, meaning FSU could clinch the league's regular-season crown with a win over Northwood.
Presently, the Timberwolves have won each of the league's last 19 regular-season championships since snapping FSU's 13-year conference regular-season winning streak in 1995. FSU ended a long Northwood reign by winning the GLIAC Tournament title two years ago (2012), but has not captured an outright league regular-season title since 1994. The two schools shared the GLIAC's overall title in 1999 under the previous scoring format with NU taking the regular-season title and FSU winning the conference tourney.
Below are the complete match results:
Ferris State 5, Grand Valley State 4
Apr 15, 2014 at Grandville, Mich. (Ramblewood Tennis & Health Club)
|1. Laurent Galarneau (FS) def. Francis Bertrand (GVM) 6-2, 6-4|
|2. Andrew Darrell (GVM) def. Aaron Dial (FS) 6-4, 6-2|
|3. Billy Heckman (GVM) def. Laurent Mailloux (FS) 6-4, 6-2|
|4. Otto Keresztes (FS) def. Jack Heiniger (GVM) 6-3, 1-6, 6-3|
|5. Andrew Bole (GVM) def. Jose Calero (FS) 6-1, 6-1|
|6. A Giacomazzi Serafim (FS) def. Quinn Sylow (GVM) 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3|
|1. Laurent Galarneau/Aaron Dial (FS) def. Andrew Bole/Francis Bertrand (GVM) 8-4|
|2. Otto Keresztes/Laurent Mailloux (FS) def. Quinn Sylow/Jack Heiniger (GVM) 8-5|
|3. Andrew Darrell/Billy Heckman (GVM) def. Will Huntington/Jose Calero (FS) 8-1|