KALAMAZOO, Mich. - In one of the most improbable comebacks in Bowdoin tennis history, the Polar Bear men's tennis team rallied from a 3-0 deficit following doubles play to shock Johns Hopkins, 5-4, in the Quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament on Monday morning.
The win was historic on several levels for the Polar Bears, who had trailed 3-0 following doubles on just one occasion this spring (NESCAC final loss to Middlebury). It gives the Bowdoin (18-3) its school-record 18th win of the season and lifts the Polar Bears into their first-ever NCAA Semifinal appearance.
Bowdoin will face Emory in the national semifinals Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m.
- Bowdoin found themselves in quite a hole following doubles play. Despite taking a 6-5 lead at #1 singles, Luke Tercek and Luke Trinka succumbed to a late Johns Hopkins rally and fell 8-6 to Mike Buxbaum/Jeremy Dubin
- At #3, Gil Roddy and Chase Savage dropped a 8-2 decision and the Blue Jays completed the sweep with an 8-5 win at #2 over Jerry Jiang and Grant Urken
- Needing a quick start in singles play, Bowdoin was able to win the first set on four courts and quickly closed the team score to 3-2 as Kyle Wolfe claimed a straight-set 6-4, 6-4 win at #2 and Roddy followed shortly with a 6-2, 6-2 win at #5
- After Tercek fell 7-5, 6-2 at #1, three matches remained and Bowdoin trailed 4-2 and needed to win them all in order to advance
- Trinka answered by closing out a 6-3, 6-1 win at #3 singles to trim the lead to 4-3 overall
- With two matches remaining, both entered third sets. Grant Urken swiftly took care of his at #6, rallying for a 6-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory as Jiang entered a third-set tiebreaker
- After splitting the first two sets, Jiang and John Hopkins' David Perez traded blows in the third set and entered the tiebreaker tied at six games each. Jiang sprinted to a 3-0 lead in the tiebreak, only to see Perez rally to tie it at 4-4. Jiang won the next two points to get some breathing room and after Perez trimmed the edge to 6-5, his attempt at the tying point sailed long, giving Jiang the match (6-3, 3-6, 7-6) and Bowdoin the stunning 5-4 victory
- Bowdoin will make its first-ever appearance in the national semifinals on Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. against Emory, who defeated Kenyon 5-1 in their quarterfinal match on Monday
- The teams have played once prior in NCAA Tournament play, with Emory taking a 5-3 win in the third round of the tournament in 2008.