Warriors reach quarterfinals at NAIA Nationals

Westmont won its opening match at the NAiA Men’s National Tennis Championships, beating 11th-ranked Shorter, Ga., 5-1, in Mobile. Ala. on Wednesday.

The sixth-ranked Warriors (13-5) advance to Thursday’s quarterfinals, where they’ll play No. 3 Auburn-Montgomery (24-3).

“I think our guys can build on this win — we will see what they can do tomorrow,” said Westmont head coach Mark Basham. “It will take a very solid team effort, but we are capable of doing it. We need to take each shot one at a time. We are very good in doubles and as good, if not better, in singles.”

The Warriors (13-5) won two of the doubles matches to take a 2-1 lead over Shorter (13-5). On the first court Carlos Lima and Bryan Cox fell behind a break to Badr Cherradi and Grayson Jones, but recovered and won by a score of 8-4.

“We did not play a very good match,” acknowledged Lima. “We were down a break, but we kept fighting. We knew we were much better than them, so we stayed positive even though we were not playing our best.”

On the number three court, Tiago Hayashi and Kent Stormans defeated Bastiem Russo and Thibault Langeard 8-5.

The Hawks’ lone point came on the number two doubles court where Guillaume Ledrap and Eric Tucoulou defeated Tim Göranson and Lukas Zielen 8-6.

The Warriors entered the singles matches needing three wins to claim the match. The first came on the number four court where Hayashi defeated Lengeard 6-2, 6-0.

“These were my first wins at nationals,” said Hayashi, referring to his singles and doubles victories. “This year we have a shot, so we all need to stay focused and finish strong. This year, we are more together. We feel close to each other and I think that is one of the keys for a good team. We know when each other is struggling and we know what we need to help each other.”

Already up 3-1, Westmont’s next point came on court number one where Lima defeated Ledrap 6-4, 6-0.

“I think I was a little nervous in the beginning and was missing (my shots) a little bit,” said Lima. “Then I found a way to play against him. I was playing too much against his backhand, but then I figured out that his forehand was a little weaker. He doesn’t like the high balls to his forehand, so I started doing that. I kind of broke him down mentally and the second set was straight.”

Göranson earned the Warriors’ decisive fifth point with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Eric Tucoulou on court number three.

With the outcome of the match decided, the other three singles matches were suspended.

Singles #1 – Carlos Sachs Cirne Lima (WC) def. Guillaume Ledrap (SU)
6-4, 6-0 #2 – Bryan Cox (WC) vs. Badr Cherradi (SU)
3-6, 6-0, 1-0 (DNF) #3 – Tim Goranson (WC) def. Eric Tucoulou (SU)
6-2, 6-2 #4 – Tiago Hayashi (WC) def. Thibault Lengeard (SU)
6-2, 6-0 #5 – Lukas Zielen (WC) vs. Bastien Russo (SU)
6-1, 3-2 (DNF) #6 – Kent Stormans (WC) vs. Grayson Jones (SU)
4-6, 1-2 (DNF)
#1 – Carlos Sachs Cirne Lima / Bryan Cox (WC) def. Badr Cherradi/Grayson Jones (SU)
8-4 #2 – Guillaume Ledrap /Eric Tucoulou (SU) def. Tim Goranson / Lukas Zielen (WC)
8-6 #3 – Tiago Hayashi / Kent Stormans (WC) def. Bastien Russo/Thibault Langeard (SU)