No. 53 Blue Raiders sweep Louisiana, advance to title match

MT makes second straight appearance in finals against South Alabama

April 21, 2012 · Athletic Communications
DENTON, Texas - The No. 2 seed Middle Tennessee men’s tennis team will make its second straight trip to the Sun Belt Championship title match after sweeping No. 3 seed Louisiana, 4-0, in the semifinals of the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Tennis Championship on Saturday afternoon at the Waranch Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of North Texas. The No. 53 Blue Raiders will face No. 4 seed South Alabama, who knocked off top-seeded Denver, 4-3. The match is slated for Sunday at 10 a.m. CT.

"I'm extremely proud of our team for advancing to the championship finals for the second year in a row," head coach Jimmy Borendame said. "It says a lot about the consistency of this team. They haven't let up since the season began and their success has carried into the tournament."

No. 70 Louisiana (15-8) took the first doubles victory when Ragin’ Cajuns’ Rick DeGroot and Carlin Murray grabbed an 8-5 win on court one over Yannick Born and Marlon Brand. The No. 3 Blue Raider tandem of Ettore Zito and Matt Langley then shut down Damian Farinola and Jarred Wynan, 8-1 on court three. The all-conference duo of Ben Davis and Christoph Lang clinched the doubles point for MT with an 8-5 victory over Brandon Farine and Yannick Mandl at the No. 2 position.

Ahead 1-0, the Blue Raiders (18-7) dominated in singles play on the first three courts. All-conference selection Davis grabbed the first singles victory with a 6-2, 6-3 win over DeGroot at the No. 1 position, followed by Lang’s 6-0, 6-4 win over Mandl on court three to put Middle Tennessee ahead 3-0.

Langley came through at the No. 2 position with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Murray to clinch the match for the Blue Raiders.

Sunday's championship final will be a rematch of the last season's, where the Blue Raiders defeated the Jaguars, 4-3. The two teams also met earlier this season, with MT claiming a 4-0 win on April 1. To follow the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Tennis Championships, visit the Championship Central page or follow along on Twitter (@MTAthletics and @The_Sun_Belt) and Facebook (facebook.com/theSunBeltConference).

Radio Tennis will be broadcasting the matches throughout the championships free online at radiotennis.com.

#53 Middle Tennessee 4, #70 Louisiana 0
Singles competition
1. Ben Davis (MT) def. Rick DeGroot (ULL) 6-2, 6-3
2. Matthew Langley (MT) def. Carlin Murray (ULL) 6-4, 6-3
3. Christoph Lang (MT) def. Yanick Mandl (ULL) 6-0, 6-4
4. Ettore Zito (MT) vs. Ted Nilsson (ULL) 7-5, 5-3, unfinished
5. Forrest Edwards (MT) vs. Damian Farinola (ULL) 7-5, 2-1, unfinished
6. Dimitri Pippos (MT) vs. Jarred Wynan (ULL) 6-2, 5-7, 0-1, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. Rick DeGroot/Carlin Murray (ULL) def. Yannick Born/Marlon Brand (MT) 8-5
2. Ben Davis/Christoph Lang (MT) def. Brandon Farine/Yanick Mandl (ULL) 8-5
3. Ettore Zito/Matthew Langley (MT) def. Damian Farinola/Jarred Wynan (ULL) 8-1

Match Notes
Louisiana 15-8; National ranking #70
Middle Tennessee 18-7; National ranking #53

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.