Men’s tennis captures A-10 championship for second straight year

Freshman Francisco Dias sends it back to Fordham earlier this season. Hatchet File Photo

The men’s tennis team nabbed its second straight A-10 championship Sunday, defeating Xavier 4-3 and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

The Colonials, who entered the A-10 tournament as the fifth seed, defeated La Salle, Temple and Charlotte to advance to the finals Sunday. Xavier took the doubles point to open play, putting GW in a 1-0 hole entering singles competition. Much like they did against the 49ers Saturday, the Colonials regained ground through tight singles competition to ultimately grab its second straight A-10 title.

Senior Richard Blumenfeld was the first GW victory of the day, taking the No. 6 singles match. From there, sophomore Viktor Svensson and junior Alexander van Gils won at No. 5 and No. 3 singles, respectively, to put the Colonials up by two. After freshman Francisco Dias and junior Leonardo Lapentti fell at No. 1 and No. 4 singles, the match came down to senior Ugur Atalay. Like he did against Radford April 8, Atalay shrugged off the pressure, grabbing a victory at No. 2 singles to win the championship for the Colonials.

GW defeated Xavier in last season’s finals to capture the championship, then advancing to the NCAA tournament before falling in the first round to Duke. Last year’s record earned head coach Greg Munoz A-10 Coach of the Year honors, and the Colonials were tabbed to repeat as champions this season by the league’s head coaches in January.

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