Surprise, Ariz. - A third set tiebreaker at third singles is what it came down to as No. 49 Bluefield State upset No. 18 NYIT 5-4 in the NCAA Division II Round of 16 Wednesday afternoon. The match lasted four hours and 17 minutes, with the Bears' season coming to a close with a 15-8 final record. The Blues improved to 16-6 and live to play another match tomorrow.
NYIT junior Tomas Lieb (Buenos Aires, Argentina) battled back from a 6-4 first set loss to win 6-3 in the second set and then took set three to a 6-6 tie before injury became a game-changer. He fell to Anthony Braem 7-1 in the tiebreaker, who clinched win for Bluefield.
The Bears quickly fell behind 2-0 with losses at second and third doubles with the score of 8-4. The "Battle of the Pulido Brothers" went into a tiebreaker at the first flight with No. 23 ranked Lieb and Julio Pulido defeating Platon Gud and Ignacio Pulido 9-8(3) for NYIT's first point of the match.
No. 17 Julio Pulido then tied the match 2-2 with a 6-4, 6-0 triumph over Gud at the No. 1 spot. Yet, Ignacio Pulido put Bluefield back on top with a 6-3, 6-3 win over David Jiang (Auckland, N.Z.). The Blues reached match-point with a 6-2, 7-5 win by Conner Pickering over Niko Jubera (La Rioja, Spain) at the No. 6 spot.
But the Bears did not give up and clawed their way to a 4-4 match stalemate with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win by Matej Selecky (Bratislava, Slovakia) over Jacob Carey at the No. 2 spot and a 6-7(3(, 6-4, 6-1 triumph by Rafal Charkiewicz (Opole, Poland) over Aziz Yuldashev at the No. 4 spot.
NYIT advanced to its third consecutive NCAA Round of 16 after earning the automatic bid with the program's third straight East Coast Conference championship and an East Region 2 sweep. Selecky, Lieb, Charkiewicz, and Jiang are all scheduled to return in the Fall 2015 for another run at the NCAA Championship.
Provided by the NYIT Sports Information Department.