Melo wins three-set battle for 4-3 win over Denver

Blue Raiders to face Florida Atlantic in tourney championship match

April 18, 2009 · MT Athletic Communications
DENTON, Texas - The Blue Raiders defeated Denver 4-3 in dramatic fashion on Saturday night to advance to the finals of the Sun Belt Championships.

The match last four hours and 20 minutes before junior Victor Melo put it away with his three set battle. Melo defeated Benny Althaus 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 to seal the Blue Raiders a spot in the finals.

The match began with Denver taking the doubles point after winning two of the three matches. Melo paired with sophomore John Peers to win 8-2 over Martin Zimmermann and Andrew Landwerlen in the only doubles win for Middle Tennessee.

Senior Robert McKenzie tied the match at 1 with his 6-0, 6-3 win over Zimmermann. Then Peers defeated David Simson 6-1, 6-2 to give the Blue Raiders a one point advantage.

Senior Morgan Richard put Middle Tennessee within one point of clinching the match as he defeated Yannick Weihs in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 making the score 3-1.

The Blue Raiders lost No. 5 and 6 singles to the Pioneers which set up the dramatic ending by Melo.

Middle Tennessee will be back in action in the championship match at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 19 when it faces Florida Atlantic. The winner of the match will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

1. #96 Robert McKenzie (MT) def. Martin Zimmermann (DU) 6-0, 6-3
2. #104 John Peers (MT) def. David Simson (DU) 6-1, 6-2
3. Victor Melo (MT) def. Benny Althaus (DU) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
4. Morgan Richard (MT) def. Yannick Weihs (DU) 6-2, 6-1
5. Andrew Landwerlen (DU) def. Matthew Langley (MT) 6-1, 6-0
6. Ravjot Dhatt (DU) def. Alex McCann (MT) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4

1. John Peers/Victor Melo (MT) def. Martin Zimmermann/Andrew Landwerlen (DU) 8-2
2. Benny Althaus/Yannick Weihs (DU) def. Robert McKenzie/Morgan Richard (MT) 8-6
3. David Simson/Ravjot Dhatt (DU) def. Alex McCann/Kyle Wishing (MT) 8-3

Match Notes:
Denver 10-11
Middle Tennessee 15-9; National ranking #60
Sun Belt Conference Tournament Semifinals
Order of finish: Doubles: 1, 3, 2 ... Singles: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 3

Friend of the Blue Raiders? Like us on Facebook and become part of the True Blue army today.