April 25, 2015
Grove City men's tennis captures 25th-straight PAC crown
ERIE, Pa. -- Senior Peter Riley (Woodbury, Pa./Northern Bedford) won his third career Presidents' Athletic Conference Player of the Year honor and the Grove City College men's tennis team swept all six flights of the singles competition and took two of three doubles crowns to roll to its 25th straight PAC title on Saturday afternoon at The Pennbriar Athletic Club in Erie.
The Wolverines amassed 52 out of a possible 54 points over the weekend to finish ahead of second-place Washington & Jefferson's 37 points. Grove City and W&J met in the championship final of eight of the night flights, with the Wolverines coming away victorious in seven of the eight meetings.
Riley earned his second-straight Player of the Year honor and his third overall by winning the league title at first singles. After rolling to 6-0, 6-1 victories over Thiel's Thad Paunovich and Westminster's Troy Abbott in both his quarterfinal and semifinal matches, Riley had to pull out a 7-5 tiebreaker victory over W&J's Sean Carrick to win the first set 7-6 before rolling to a 6-1 victory in the second set to seal the win.
Senior Colby Beighey (Fombell, Pa./Riverside) won his second-straight conference title at second singles, downing the Presidents' Samuel Miller 6-1, 6-2 for the victory. Beighey defeated Thiel's Frank Jackson 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinals before besting Thomas More's Jared Justice 6-0, 6-2 in the semifinals.
After winning a PAC crown at No. 6 singles last year, junior Dan Schafhauser (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) earned the third singles title with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over W&J's Micah Byrum while junior Jon Graber (Atglen, Pa./Octorara) won the fourth singles championship with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Saint Vincent's Tyler Brinton.
Schafhauser opened his weekend at third singles by blanking Thiel's Jon Fennick 6-0, 6-0. He then had to come from behind to pull out a 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 victory over Waynesburg's Phillip Littlejohn in the semifinals before besting Brinton in the championship match. After downing Thiel's Dylan Stevens 6-1, 6-1 in his fourth singles quarterfinal match, Graber too had to overcome a 6-4, first-set loss in the semifinals to W&J's Chad Dille before evening the match with a 6-0, second-set win and taking the third set 6-4 to reach the final.
Freshmen Matt Lynch (Eighty Four, Pa./Bentworth) and Jon Fleet (West Chester, Pa./Hendersen) would each earn their first career PAC titles to complete the Grove City singles sweep, as Lynch won at fifth singles and Fleet in the No. 6 slot.
Lynch faced little test in claiming his first conference crown, rolling to a 6-1, 6-0 win over Thiel's Trevor Martin in the quarterfinals before downing Bethany's Mason Schoonover 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals. In the championship match, he earned a 6-2, 6-2 win over the Presidents' Joshua St. Clair.
Fleet cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Thiel's Alex Horvatits in his quarterfinal match before being taken to the brink in both sets of his semifinal match before pulling out a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Westminster's Ethan McCarthy. In the championship final, he then defeated W&J's Greg Smith 6-3, 6-0.
Riley and Beighey teamed for an 8-1 victory over the Presidents' duo of Miller and Byrum to win the No. 1 doubles title for the second year in a row. The Wolverine tandem defeated Thiel's Paunovich and Jackson 8-0 in the quarterfinals before besting Westminster's Abbott and Mike Matisi 8-2 in the semifinals en route to the championship match.
Schafhauser was also a double-winner for Grove City on the day, teaming with freshman Zack Sprunger (Ashland, Ohio) for the third doubles crown. After blanking Thiel's Martin and Horvatits 8-0 in the quarterfinals and Westminster's Ethan McCarthy and A.J. May 8-0 in the semifinals, the Grove City duo downed W&J's Greg Smith and Renato Popovic 8-3 in the title bout.
Grove City's second doubles tandem of senior Chris Collins (West Chester, Pa./Delaware County Christian) and Graber finished as runner-up after being edged by W&J's Carrick and St. Clair 9-8 after losing the tiebreaker 7-2. Collins and Graber rolled to an 8-0 quarterfinal win over Thiel's Fennick and Stevens before defeating Thomas More's Sam Lewis and Sergio Pascual 8-3 in the semifinals to reach the final.
By winning the conference title, Grove City receives an automatic berth in the 2015 NCAA Division III Championship Tournament for the fifth year in a row. The tournament field will be announced in May.
Overall, Grove City has won 26 conference titles since joining the league in the 1984-85 academic year.
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