When and Where: May 12, 2019 – Hooksett, N.H. (Penmen Stadium Tennis Courts)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 4, Queens (N.Y.) College 2
Records: SNHU 17-3, Queens 14-8
Graduate student Tiago Fernandes (Porto, Portugal) prevailed in a marathon No. 1 singles match to send the 50th-ranked and second-seeded Southern New Hampshire University men's tennis team to a 4-2 victory against third-seeded Queens (N.Y.) College in the NCAA East Regional II final Saturday afternoon, as the Penmen advance to the round of 16 in Altamonte Springs, Fla., for the first time in program history.
- Fernandes defeated Cosme Jubera, 7-6 (11-9), 7-6 (7-4) at No. 1 to clinch the match.
- Juniors Willem van Biezen (Sassenheim, The Netherlands) and Bas van Biezen (Sassenheim, The Netherlands) won both of their matches, as they clinched the doubles point with a 6-2 triumph over Jubera and Lucas Demuth at No. 1. Willem was a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Kareem Rashad at No. 2 singles, while Bas took down Richard Sec, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 4.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After grad student Miguel Marreiros (Portimao, Portugal) and freshman Fernando Torres (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) rallied from down 3-0 to edge Sec and Rashad, 6-4, at No. 2 doubles, the van Biezens clinched the point to put the Penmen up, 1-0, in the match.
- Queens went in front, 2-1, with wins at Nos. 5 and 6 singles, before the van Biezens posted their singles victories to leapfrog SNHU back on top, 3-2.
- With freshman Emmanuel Vacalares (Cagayan de Oro, Philippines) locked in a 6-7 (3-7), 6-6 duel with Demuth at No. 3, Fernandes shook off Jubera coming back from down 5-1 in the second set, to pull it out in the tiebreaker.
- Southern New Hampshire, which has won 14 straight, advances to the round of 16 for the first time, after playing in its second straight regional final.
- The Penmen are the first Northeast-10 institution to advance to the round of 16 since Assumption College in 2002.
- SNHU's 17th win of the season is its most since 2013-14 when it posted a program-record 18 victories.
- The Penmen, making their ninth NCAA Championship appearance, improve to 2-7 all-time in the NCAA postseason and knock off Queens for the first time in three tries.
- SNHU, which earned hosting duties and a bye as the No. 2 seed, won an NCAA Championship match for the second straight season after advancing to the regional final with a 5-4 victory over Merrimack College a year ago.
- Southern New Hampshire will now await its opponent for the round of 16, which opens Tuesday, May 21 at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
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