Raiders Drop 4-2 Decision at SBC Championships

Run ends in semifinals for Middle Tennessee

April 21, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee won the doubles point but seniors Andreas Siljestrom and Marco Born both lost in three sets in the singles in the final two matches, as 73rd-ranked Denver eliminated 47th-ranked Middle Tennessee, 4-2, Saturday evening in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Championships in Denton, Texas.

Middle Tennessee (14-12) lost the singles matches at the top two positions in three sets, including a third-set tiebreaker between Siljestrom and Denver's Adam Holmstrom. Blue Raider Marc Rocafort was one game away from securing his match at No. 4 singles as well.

The Blue Raiders got off to a good start with victories at Nos. 1 and 2 in doubles to post the first point of the match.

Rocafort and Morgan Richard defeated Nejc Smole and Ravjot Dhatt, 8-5, at No. 2, before the 11th-ranked duo of Siljestrom and Born won 9-7 over Holmstrom and Niklas Persson at No. 1.

Middle Tennessee took a 2-0 lead in the match when freshman Alex McCann defeated Dhatt, 6-3, 6-0, at No. 6.

But the Pioneers would then reel off four consecutive victories to take the match.

Persson won 6-0, 6-3, over Richard at No. 3 and Kalle Rosen defeated Joao Paoliello, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 5. Smole came away with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, victory over 113th-ranked Born at No. 1 before 17th-ranked Holmstrom outlasted 78th-ranked Siljestrom, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (4), for the deciding point.

"I knew it would be a tough match because the two teams match up so well against each other at almost every place in singles and doubles," head coach Dale Short said. "We got off to a good start in doubles and Alex came up with a big win, but Marco and Andreas weren't able to win their very tough matches and in the end, that was the difference."

Middle Tennessee must wait anxiously for the Tuesday, May 1 announcement of the NCAA Team Championships field to see if its season will continue. Players selected for the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will be posted on the NCAA website after 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday, May 2.

#73 Denver, #47 Middle Tennessee 2

1. (17) Adam Holmstrom (DEN) def. (78) Andreas Siljestrom (MT), 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (4)
2. Nejc Smole (DEN) def. (113) Marco Born (MT), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
3. Niklas Persson (DEN) def. Morgan Richard (MT) , 6-0, 6-3
4. Marc Rocafort (MT) led Timo Kienle (DEN), 6-1, 1-6, 6-5, DNF
5. Kalle Rosen (DEN) def. Joao Paoliello (MT), 6-4, 6-4
6. Alex McCann (MT) def. Ravjot Dhatt (DEN), 6-3, 6-0
Order of Finish: 6,3,5,2,1*

1. (11) Born-Siljestrom (MT) def. Holmstrom-Persson (DEN), 9-7
2. Rocafort-Richard (MT) def. Smole-Dhatt (DEN), 8-5
3. Marc Boiron-Paoliello (MT) led Kienle-Rosen (DEN), 7-4, DNF
Order of Finish: 2,1

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