Marquette Wire

DePaul has men’s tennis’ number once again

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The Marquette men’s tennis team’s season ended much sooner than expected with a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to DePaul in the Big East Championships Friday afternoon at the Leeper Park Tennis Center in South Bend, Ind.

The Golden Eagles were seeded fourth in the nine-team field, while the Blue Demons earned the No. 5 seed in the event, which was hosted by Notre Dame. Since Marquette joined the Big East for the 2005-’06 season, the conference tournament has been hosted by South Florida in Tampa, Fla.

DePaul beat Marquette for the third straight season to advance to the semifinals of the conference tournament.

Senior Dusan Medan won at the No. 1 position and freshman Otavio Perim at the No. 4 spot, and both were straight-set victories. But Marquette was unable to secure the fourth point needed to advance.

“It was nice for Otavio and me to get the first two points and eventually we picked up the first three,” Medan said. “Unfortunately we came up a bit short, and it’s hard to believe that was my final match.”

Marquette opened the round by claiming a hard-fought doubles point. The duo of Mark Rutherford and Jonathan Schwerin claimed an 8-3 win at the No. 1 spot and the tandem of Perim and Jose Carlos Gutierrez Crowley secured a point with an 8-6 decision at the No. 3 slot.

The team was up 3-0 in the match, but consecutive singles losses by Rutherford, senior Niko Boulieris and freshman Jacob Straus set the stage for DePaul’s comeback.

Straus had a chance to capture the coveted fourth point but lost in three sets to DePaul’s Vanja Grgec, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

The match came down to No. 6 singles, where DePaul’s Doug Perrin was able to rally for a 6-7, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Schwerin.

The loss was Marquette’s second to DePaul in less than a week. The team also fell 4-3 to the Blue Demons on April 17 in Chicago.

“Well it is disappointing,” coach Steve Rodecap said. “We had two chances at clinching the match with guys winning their first set, but unfortunately they weren’t able to finish it off.”

Poor weather conditions forced the cancellation of the consolation draw and, as a result, ended the 2009-’10 campaign for the men.

The remaining matches were moved indoors and due to a limit of available court space, only the main draw was completed, with Louisville capturing the NCAA automatic tournament.

“Even though our season ended sooner than we hoped, we have a lot of players back next year and we will only have one senior,” Perim said. “So from that standpoint, we’re excited and we know what to expect when we play again.”

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