Blue Raiders fall 4-1 to Denver

Peers guides team at SBC Tournament

April 24, 2010 · MT Athletic Communications
NEW ORLEANS - Middle Tennessee fell 4-1 to No. 34 Denver in the semi-finals of the Sun Belt Championships on Saturday afternoon.

The Blue Raiders battled throughout the match beginning with doubles. Middle Tennessee's senior Victor Melo and sophomore Matthew Langley won their doubles match 8-3 over Yannick Weihs and Jens Vorkefeld.

Then Denver's Fabio Biasion and Enej Bonin defeated sophomore Richard Cowden and freshman Shaun Waters. With the point on the line, juniors John Peers and Kyle Wishing played extra sets in their match before falling 9-7 to Andrew Landwerlen and David Simson as the Pioneers took a 1-0 lead.

"Going into the match we knew it would be tough. The doubles point proved to be the telling tale. We had an opportunity at one doubles being up 6-3 and break point. We had another opportunity at 6-5. However to Denver's credit they played well," head coach David McNamara said.

Cowden retired in singles due to injury as Bonin led 5-1 while Biasion defeated Waters 6-4, 6-4 as Denver took a quick 3-0 lead.

"Going into the singles I felt we were the favorite at two of the positions and Denver was favorite at two other positions. It was going to come down to the other two positions. Denver played well and was the better team today," McNamara said. "We competed and played as well as we have all year. Opportunities come and go but one thing we need to get better at is to taking those opportunities.

In No. 1 singles, Peers defeated Weihs 6-1, 6-1 to keep the Blue Raiders alive in the match. Denver took the win as Landwerlen defeated Wishing 6-2, 6-0.

"There are certainly some positives from today that makes me excited for next year. This year has been a big learning and growing year for everyone. There are going to be some changes made that will help the future of this program," McNamara said. "As players and coaches we are in this business to get better and learn on a daily basis. I have learned so much from this challenging year that makes me very excited about where the program is headed."

Middle Tennessee ends the 2010 season 7-20 facing 15 ranked opponents. Peers is currently 34th in the country with a 19-4 dual match record and will compete in the NCAA Individual Championships beginning May 26.

In doubles, Peers has paired with Wishing most of the spring and the pair is currently ranked 87th. The duo ends the season 8-7 overall and have won six of their last 10 matches.

Peers and Melo are still ranked in doubles from last season and their matches in the fall. The pair will find out in the coming weeks if they will compete in the NCAA Doubles Championship.

"We have the NCAA Individuals coming up May 26th which is something that is very exciting to look forward to. John Peers will be going in singles and John and Victor Melo will find out in the next few weeks about their chances to compete in doubles. John has earned the right so I am looking forward to the opportunity he will have in a month," McNamara said.

#34 Denver 4, Middle Tennessee 1

1. #34 John Peers (MT) def. Yannick Weihs (DEN) 6-1, 6-1
2. David Simson (DEN) vs. Victor Melo (MT) 6-4, 5-2, unfinished
3. Enej Bonin (DEN) def. Richard Cowden (MT) 5-1, retired
4. Fabio Biasion (DEN) def. Shaun Waters (MT) 6-4, 6-4
5. Jens Vorkefeld (DEN) vs. Matthew Langley (MT) 6-2, 4-6, 3-0, unfinished
6. Andrew Landwerlen (DEN) def. Kyle Wishing (MT) 6-2, 6-0

1. Andrew Landwerlen/David Simson (DEN) def. #87 Kyle Wishing/John Peers (MT) 9-7
2. Matthew Langley/Victor Melo (MT) def. Yannick Weihs/Jens Vorkefeld (DEN) 8-3
3. Fabio Biasion/Enej Bonin (DEN) def. Richard Cowden/Shaun Waters (MT) 8-4

Match Notes:
Middle Tennessee 7-20
Denver 19-3; National ranking #34
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,4,1,6)
#1 Denver, #5 MT
SBC Semifinals
Denver advances to Sunday finals at 10 a.m. against Troy/FAU winner

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