Highlights & Interview (Video)
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's tennis squad rallied to beat Lewis (Ill.) 4-3 to advance to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional final on Saturday (May 11) at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Ind.
The fourth-seeded Bulldogs fell behind 3-1 in the contest, but took the final three singles matches on the court over the fifth-seeded Flyers to pull out the comeback victory.
With the win, FSU will next take on top-seeded host Indianapolis in Sunday's (May 12) regional title showdown starting at 11 a.m. (ET) just outside of Indy.
Saturday's regional tilt went back and forth as the Flyers opened with a 6-3 win at three doubles before the Bulldogs' number one tandem of seniors Steward Sell and Nur Ramdani Iswan handed LU's nationally sixth-ranked doubles duo of Alan Braschinsky and Oskar Lusti their first loss of the year with a 6-4 triumph.
The doubles point gave Lewis the initial lead before Ramdani Iswan evened the score with a win by retirement at two singles.
Again, though, Lewis took the edge as the Flyers got a straight-set win from Peterson at six singles along with a 6-2, 6-4 win at the number one flight where Braschinsky edged out Sell. Those two wins allowed Lewis to move in front 3-1, setting the stage for the Bulldogs' comeback.
In the final three singles matches, Baroja pulled out a straight-set 7-5, 6-2 decision at the three spot to pull FSU back within one. The final two matches at four and five singles both came down to a third set after FSU had initially won the opening frame in both contests.
FSU's Ayush Deswal finished strong at five singles as he bounced back to win the final set 6-3 after Chandler Stimpert of Lewis had pulled out a 6-4 decision in the second frame on the heels of Deswal's match-opening 6-2 triumph in the first.
Then, just seconds after Deswal's win had tied the match, Guerre capped the finish by registering a 6-3 win in the third set at four singles. He had originally won the first set 6-4 before Pedja Trifunovic of Lewis forced the deciding set with a 6-3 decision in the second.
The Bulldogs are making their 23rd all-time NCAA Tourney appearance and the squad's first under interim head coach Mark Doren.
The winner of Sunday's Midwest Regional final will move on to the NCAA-II round of 16 set for May 21-25 in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
Three years ago, Ferris State made its deepest NCAA Tournament run ever by reaching the Division II Final Four in Denver, Colo. The Bulldogs then made another strong run in 2017 by reaching the D2 Elite Eight before falling in last year's Midwest Regional final at Drury (Mo.)
The complete boxscore can be found at this link: