Raiders Split Matches at HEB

Squad falls in morning, bounces back with victory in afternoon

March 2, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's men's tennis team split a pair of matches Friday at the HEB Invitational in Corpus Christi, Texas, dropping a 4-2 decision to 50th-ranked Western Michigan before coming back to defeat UT-Pan Am, 5-1.

The Blue Raiders (8-5) started the day with a disappointing loss to Western Michigan, a team Middle Tennessee defeated 5-2 in Murfreesboro indoors in January.

The Broncos won the doubles point to start the match, picking up the first point in the dual.

WMU's Tim Bradshaw and Kevin Hayward won 8-3 over Marc Rocafort and Morgan Richard at No. 3 before Bryan Norville and Alex Birchmeier gave second-ranked Andreas Siljestrom and Marco Born their first loss of the spring, 8-6, at No. 1.

The Blue Raiders won a pair of singles matches and Richard led 4-3 in the third set at No. 4 when the match was stopped.

Bradshaw defeated 100th-ranked Born, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 2 and John Pelton won 6-1, 6-3, over Marc Boiron at No. 5 for the Broncos, but Joao Paoliello took care of Norville, 7-5, 6-3, at No. 6 and Rocafort, also ranked 100th in the nation, defeated Birchmeier at No. 3, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Crosby and 36th-ranked Siljestrom at No. 1 was the deciding match, with Crosby erasing a one-set deficit and outlasting the Blue Raider senior in a third-set tiebreaker, winning 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6).

In the afternoon Middle Tennessee bounced back with a 5-1 victory over UT-Pan Am, playing just singles matches.

Born played No. 1 in the afternoon and defeated Ivan Avila, 6-1, 6-0, and Siljestrom won 6-2, 6-1, at No. 2 over David Lopez-Heredia. Paoliello took care of Nirvick Mohinta, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 5, before Richard won 6-2, 6-4, against Shashank Vij at No. 4.

Rocafort won his second match of the day, this one 6-4, 6-0, over Gary Bianco at No. 3, and UTPA's Brett Bernstein gave the Broncs their only win of the day with a 6-4, 6-3, triumph against Alex McCann at No. 6.

"This is definitely a low point in the season. I was very disappointed with the way we played against Western Michigan," head coach Dale Short said. "Marco and Andreas both had a bad day and we cannot afford to have that happen. Those two have to carry the load for us everyday. We were extremely flat and did not play relaxed.

"We bounced back and got a good win against UT-Pan Am in the afternoon. I'm hoping that rejuvenated us a little bit and we'll carry it over into Saturday's match."

Middle Tennessee plays its final match of the tournament Saturday at 9 a.m. against the winner of a late Friday match between 54th-ranked Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and 62nd-rated BYU.

#50 Western Michigan 4, #41 Middle Tennessee 2

1. Brady Crosby (WMU) def. (36) Andreas Siljestrom (MT), 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6)
2. Tim Bradshaw (WMU) def. (100) Marco Born (MT), 6-3, 6-3
3. (100) Marc Rocafort (MT) def. Alex Birchmeier (WMU), 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
4. Morgan Morgan (MT) vs. Kevin Hayward (WMU), DNF
5. John Pelton (WMU) def. Marc Boiron (MT), 6-1, 6-3
6. Joao Paoliello (MT) def. Bryan Norville (WMU), 7-5, 6-3
Order of Finish: 2,5,6,3,1*

1. Norville-Birchmeier (WMU) def. (2) Born-Siljestrom (MT), 8-6
2. Boiron-Paoliello (MT) led (55) Crosby-Pelton (WMU), 7-6
3. Bradshaw-Hayward def,. Richard-Rocafort (MT), 8-3
Order of Finish: 3,1*

#41 Middle Tennessee 5, UT-Pan Am 1

1. (100) Marco Born (MT) def. Ivan Avila (UTPA), 6-1, 6-0
2. (36) Andreas Siljestrom (MT) def. David Lopez-Heredia (UTPA), 6-2, 6-1
3. (100) Marc Rocafort (MT) def. Gary Bianco (UTPA), 6-4, 6-0
4. Morgan Richard (MT) def. Shashank Vij (UTPA), 6-2, 6-4
5. Joao Paoliello (MT) def. Nirvick Mohinta (UTPA), 6-1, 6-1
6. Brett Bernstein (UTPA) def. Alex McCann (MT), 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish: 1,2,5,4,3,6

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