Flushing, N.Y. - After advancing to the East Coast Conference Championship for the fourth time in four seasons, the No. 33 NYIT men's tennis team finished the 2016 campaign in the same fashion with a 5-3 victory against Queens College for the conference title. This is the third title in which the Bears have fought the Knights to earn the honors and improve to 18-3 this season.
The hosting Knights took a 2-1 advantage after doubles play, winning at first and third flights. The lone point for NYIT came from the No. 6 duo in the region featuring Tomas Lieb and Alexandre Martinez, who took an 8-6 decision from Gabriel Mendez and Lucas Martinez. Queens took the lead when ninth-ranked Sharvill Nawghre and Roman Laga won 8-5 against Matej Selecky and David Jiang at top-doubles.
Moving into singles action, it was ECC Player of the Year Selecky who redeemed himself by finishing first to knot the match at 2-2. He defeated Nawghre at first singles (almost identical to last season's results) 6-2, 6-3 before Jiang was able to take down Mendez at no. 2, to take the lead for the Bears. Queens College was able to keep the contest in reach with a win at fifth flight to tie the match once more, however ECC All-Conference First Team selection Rafal Charkiewicz put the ball back in the Bears' court with two more singles sets to be played.
Clinching the match for NYIT was newcomer Martinez, who took a 6-3, 7-6 victory from Frederico Toscano that had the regular season champs storming the court and reaching for the trophy for the fourth straight season.
"Going into today's final, we knew that it was going to be a battle. Even though we defeated Queens earlier in the season, anything can happen in the postseason," said ECC Co-Coach of the Year Jason Pasion. "Playing indoors today made things more interesting as well. After going down 1-2 the team did not panic. They stayed focused and played aggressively in singles, allowing us to take home our fourth straight championships. All season the team trained hard on and off the court. We are ecstatic that we were able to defend our reigning championship title- we are looking forward to the NCAA National tournament."
The Bears await their fate in the NCAA Tournament with the airing of the live selection show on Tuesday, May 3 at 8:00 p.m.
Provided by the NYIT Sports Information Department.