KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Bowdoin College men's tennis team rallied again from a deficit following doubles play to knock off top-ranked Emory University 5-4 in the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Championship on Tuesday morning.
The Polar Bears (19-3) advance to the championship match Wednesday against NESCAC rival Middlebury at 10:00 a.m. The loss is the first for Emory (23-4) against a Division III opponent this year. Bowdoin has faced Middlebury twice already this year, falling on both occasions - in the regular season and in the NESCAC title match two weeks ago.
It will be the first-ever appearance for Bowdoin men's tennis in the championship of the NCAA Tournament and the team becomes just the fourth Polar Bear program to appear in an NCAA title game (women's basketball, field hockey, women's lacrosse). They are the first men's program in Bowdoin history to play for a national title.
- For the second straight day, the Polar Bears appeared to be in trouble in doubles play, dropping the first two matches at #1 and #2
- Bowdoin battled back at #3 doubles, however, to gain a huge point heading into singles action. Trailing 6-7, Chase Savage and Gil Roddy won the final three points to grab a crucial 9-7 victory and cut the Emory lead to 2-1
- In singles play, Bowdoin quickly finished out #5 and #6 as Roddy won 6-4, 6-2 and Grant Urken took a 6-3, 6-3 victory to give the Polar Bears a 3-2 team score lead
- Emory battled back with a win from Adrien Bouchet at #4 in a second-set tiebreaker over Jerry Jiang 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) to even the score at three apiece
- But Bowdoin's Luke Tercek pushed the Polar Bears within a single point of victory with an impressive comeback win at #1, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
- With two matches remaining and Emory needing both, Jonathan Jemison and Kyle Wolfe battled deep into the third set before Wolfe finally succumbed 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 to tie the team score at 4-4
- The lone remaining match featured Bowdoin senior Luke Trinka and Emory's Aman Manji at #3 singles. Playing incredibly lengthy points, Trinka took a drawn-out first set 6-4 and was down 5-3 in the second set. He rallied to force a tiebreak at 6-6 and then, after trailing 4-2, won five consecutive points to send the Polar Bears to the finals
- Bowdoin will either face Chicago, who they have not faced this season, or familiar foe Middlebury, who they have lost to twice this year, in the championship match on Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m.
- Live stats and video will be available at goubears.com