The Wichita State men's tennis team defeated No. 27 Drake in a close 4-3 battle on Sunday night at Sheldon Coleman Tennis Complex to capture the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship and earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
The Shockers, using the home crowd’s energy, came out firing on all cylinders against the nationally ranked Bulldogs. Ilija Cuic and Erick Reyes avenged an 8-2 loss to James McKie and Ben Lott earlier in the season by taking down the Drake duo, 8-5.
MVC All-Conference selection’s Matheus Pereira and Tin Ostojic then sealed the doubles point for Wichita State when they defeated Jean Erasmus and Alen Salibasic, 8-5.
The action continued into the singles competition. Drake first captured wins at the top two positions to take a 2-1 lead before sophomore Tomislav Gregurovic came back after dropping the first set to defeat Alen Salibasic, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 and even the match a 2-2.
Erick Reyes grabbed his 15th straight singles victory to give the Shockers a one-point edge by defeating Jean Erasmus, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Ben Mullis then evened the contest once again, taking down Guillermo Nicol, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3).
The match came down to MVC Freshman of the Year Tin Ostojic, who would deliver for the Shockers. With Ostojic up 5-2 in the third set, his opponent No. 120 Robin Goodman battled back to tie the score at five all. Ostojic won the next two points to hand Drake their third loss of the season and give the Shockers the MVC Tournament Championship.
The Shockers will now head to the NCAA Tournament, where they appeared last in 2010. The NCAA Selection show is Tuesday, April 30 at 3 p.m.