|MOBILE, Ala. - No. 4 seed Middle Tennessee upset No. 1 seed Denver 4-3 in the semifinal round of the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Men's Tennis Championship at the Mobile Tennis Center on Friday.
The Blue Raiders advanced to the championship match and will face No. 3 South Alabama for the conference title. Match time is set for 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the Bruce David Lubel Memorial Tennis Courts on the campus of the University of South Alabama.
The Blue Raiders will by vying for their third Sun Belt Championship and first since 2009. MT is 2-2 all-time in SBC title matches.
"We simply played awesome today and seem to be peaking at the right time," said Head Coach Jimmy Borendame. "I can't say enough about the play of Dimitri Pippos, he was clutch and played some big time tennis. We still have some work to do but we are in position and it will be another fight on Saturday."
Middle Tennessee and Denver split the first doubles matches, but Ben Davis and Shaun Waters were able to secure the doubles point for the Blue Raiders by defeating Jens Vorkefeld and Andrew Lancwerlan 8-4 at the No. 1 position. Kyle Wishing moved MT ahead 2-0 by easily handling Angel Alvarez 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 6 position.
Denver answered back when Yannick Weihs gave the Pioneers a singles point with a defeat over Shaun Waters 6-0, 6-3 at the No. 2 position. With the score at 2-1, Elliot Barnwell gave the Blue Raiders another singles victory in three sets over Alex Clinkenbeard 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
The Pioneers then earned another singles victory when No. 65 Enej Bonin took down Davis 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 at the No. 1 singles position. Dimitri Pippos clinched the match for MT with a thrilling 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Landwerlen at the No. 4 singles position.
Middle Tennessee 4, #72 University of Denver 3
1. #65 Enej Bonin (DEN) def. Ben Davis (MT) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
2. Yannick Weihs (DEN) def. Shaun Waters (MT) 6-0, 6-3
3. Matthew Langley (MT) def. Jens Vorkefeld (DEN) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
4. Dimitri Pippos (MT) def. Andrew Landwerlen (DEN) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
5. Elliot Barnwell (MT) def. Alex Clinkenbeard (DEN) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
6. Kyle Wishing (MT) def. Angel Alvarez (DEN) 6-2, 6-1
1. Jens Vorkefeld/Andrew Landwerlen (DEN) def. Ben Davis/Shaun Waters (MT) 8-4
2. Enej Bonin/Yannick Weihs (DEN) def. Kyle Wishing/Elliot Barnwell (MT) 8-3
3. Matthew Langley/Dimitri Pippos (MT) def. Angel Alvarez/Alex Clinkenbeard (DEN) 8-1