April 30, 2016

Grove City wins 26th straight title

ERIE, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's tennis team captured the program's 26th consecutive Presidents' Athletic Conference title Saturday afternoon at the Pennbriar Club. Grove City finished with 54 team points at the two-day event. Saint Vincent took second with 36 points, followed by Bethany (34) and Washington & Jefferson (33).

Grove City won conference titles in five of the nine flights of competition, including four of six singles draws. Sophomore Zack Sprunger (Ashland, Ohio/Ashland) won the conference title at third singles while junior Jason Wichert (Collegeville, Pa./Methacton) prevailed at fourth singles.

At No. 5 singles, junior Nathan Roberts (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) won the league crown while senior Thane Feldeisen (Ann Arbor, Mich./Greenhills) took the conference title at sixth singles. Feldeisen and Wichert won the conference title at third doubles.

Senior Jon Graber (Atlglen, Pa./Octorara) advanced to the finals at first singles while sophomore Jon Fleet (West Chester, Pa./Henderson) placed second at second singles. Graber and Sprunger teamed for a runner-up finish at first doubles while Fleet and Roberts teamed for third place at second doubles.

Sprunger began the No. 3 singles draw by downing Westminster's Ethan McCarthy in the quarterfinals, 6-0, 6-1. Sprunger then topped Thomas More's Sergio Pascual, 6-1, 6-4, in the semifinal round. Sprunger won the title with a 6-1, 6-2 win over W&J's Greg Smith.

Wichert opened fourth singles with a 6-0, 6-1 quarterfinal win over Jalen Clark of Thomas More. Wichert then secured a 6-1, 6-1 semifinal victory over Bethany entry Marcus Hooks. In the championship round, Wichert rolled past Saint Vincent's Tyler Brinton, 6-0 and 6-1.

Roberts received a bye to the fifth singles semifinals, where he downed W&J's Josh Hnat, 6-1, 6-2. In the finals, Roberts topped Bethany's Chris Ray, 6-3 and 7-5.

Feldeisen topped Ethan Stahl of Geneva in the quarterfinals at sixth singles, 6-0, 6-2. Feldeisen then ousted Jon Fennick of Thiel in the semifinal round, 6-1, 6-0. In the championship match, Feldeisen decisioned Dalton Yezovich of Saint Vincent, 6-0, 6-3.

The Feldeisen-Wichert tandem received a bye to the semifinals at third doubles. In that round, the duo downed Hnat and Ethan Heller, 8-1. Feldeisen and Wichert then picked up an 8-3 finals win over Pat McGee and Yezovich of Saint Vincent.

Graber opened the first singles tournament with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Geneva's Eric Abbott. In the semifinals, Graber rallied for a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 win over W&J's Sean Carrick. Graber dropped the final to Saint Vincent's Jonathan Prichard, 7-5 and 6-3.

At second singles, Fleet won his quarterfinal match over Thiel's Thad Paunovich, 6-4, 6-0. He then downed Westminster's Kornel Foremski in the semifinals, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0. W&J's Micah Byrum then downed Fleet in the title match, 6-0, 2-6, 6-2.

Graber and Springer downed Abbott and Evan Shaw (Geneva) in the first doubles quarterfinals, 8-3. Grove City's top tandem then bounced Bethany's Drake Berlin and Rhone Thrash in the semifinals, 8-1. Prichard and Ryan Hartz defeated the Graber-Springer team in the championship, 8-3.

Fleet and Roberts downed McCarthy and Brian Greig (Westminster) in the second doubles quarterfinals 8-0. After dropping an 8-5 decision in the semifinals to Waynesburg's Jonah Cooper and Adam McKnight, the Grove City duo rebounded for an 8-6 win over Bethany's Kyle Booker and Chris Ray in the consolation match.

As conference champion, Grove City receives an automatic berth in the 2016 NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. The tournament draw will be announced in early May.


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