Queens Gives Drury All It Can Handle, But Falls Short in NCAA Round of 16

Queens Gives Drury All It Can Handle, But Falls Short in NCAA Round of 16

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The Queens College men's tennis team battled all the way up to the final point, giving the 18th-ranked Drury University Panthers all they could handle, but ultimately fell short in a 5-2 decision in the Round of 16 of the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship on Tuesday.

The Knights, ranked 39th in the Oracle/ITA National Rankings, see their season come to an end at 15-6 overall, while the Panthers (21-3) move on to the national quarterfinals.

Junior Jui Mao was a double winner, leading the way with wins at second singles and doubles for the Knights. Mao and sophomore Cosme Jubera gave Queens a 1-0 lead with a dominant 8-1 win over Sacha Mourier and Nico Sigloch at No. 2 doubles. The duo finish the season with an impressive 9-2 record at the second flight.

However, Drury took a 2-1 lead after doubles play with wins at the first and third flights. Sebastien Amato and Maximilian Hepp, the ninth-ranked doubles team in the ITA rankings, earned an 8-6 win over senior Sharvill Nawghre and junior Roman Laga at No. 1 doubles. Then juniors Gabriel Mendez and Lucas Martinez fought at third doubles, but dropped a tough 9-7 decision to Nicol Hadeler and Paul Porcher.

In singles, Mourier downed Laga in the sixth spot, 6-2, 6-1, to give the Panthers a 3-1 advantage. Hepp, who's ranked 19th in the ITA singles rankings, followed with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Nawghre at the top flight to bring Drury within one point of victory.

Mao made it a 4-2 match after dispatching his opponent, Amato, at second singles, 6-2, 7-5. From there, Queens made a ferocious comeback attempt, as the third, fourth and fifth singles matches all went into a decisive third set. But Hadeler got past Mendez in the third spot, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1, to claim the match for the Panthers.

The Knights finish with their best record since going 20-4 during the 2011-12 season. Queens went 5-0 in the East Coast Conference (ECC) to win the conference regular season title and then dethroned NYIT for its first ECC Championship since 2012. The Knights went 10-0 at home this season, capped off by a 5-1 win over Post in the NCAA East Region I Finals.