TIFFIN, Ohio - Tiffin men's tennis is gearing up to enter the GMAC Championship as the top overall seed in their first year in the conference, as they will face four-seed Walsh in the semifinals on Friday.
Tiffin enters the postseason with a 13-7 overall record and an unblemished 6-0 mark in GMAC play. In their conference schedule, the Dragons swept four of six matches, with a 5-2 win against Walsh and a 4-1 victory over Findlay the only contests where TU lost points. This
In the match against Walsh, TU swept the doubles contest to earn the first point, before taking four of six singles matches as Nikita Parfenov, Toby Cutting, Tom Arias, and Hugo Chatras picked up victories. Against Findlay, Tiffin against swept the doubles pairings before Sorin Navrotchi, Cutting, and Arias all earned wins to get to the deciding fourth point. The Dragons dominated the other team that made the postseason, Hillsdale, as they won two of three doubles matches to earn the point before taking the first three singles decisions for a 4-0 win.
Overall in conference play, Tiffin went 23-3 in singles matches and 14-1 in doubles contests. Cutting and Arias both went a perfect 5-0 against GMAC competition from the No. 4 and 5 spots, respectively. Arias enters the weekend on an eight-match win streak, while Cutting has won each of his last five. They are also both one of four Dragons to have at least 14 singles wins on the year, as Cutting is 16-4, Arias is 14-7, Chatras is 14-4, and Navrotchi is 14-4.
Chatras operated out of the No. 6 spot for much of the year, and won his only match that counted in conference play as the Dragons often secured victories before his matches were completed. Navrotchi locked down the No. 3 spot, going 4-1 in conference action, while Parfenov was the only Dragon to record a decision in all six GMAC affairs, going 5-1 from the No. 2 spot. Santiago de la Rosa Mora anchored the No. 1 spot for TU, and similarly to Chatras did not end up finishing most of his conference matches, going 1-1 in the two decisions.
Cutting and Parfenov played the entire GMAC season at No. 1 doubles, going 5-1 across the six matches, as well as 10-6 on the year when pairing up for competition. At the No. 2 spot, Arias and Gabriel de Oliveira went undefeated (5-0) in conference action, while the duo of Chatras and Navrotchi did not drop a match as well in four decisions from the No. 3 spot. On the year, the latter duo is a perfect 6-0 when playing together in doubles.
This will be TU's inaugural venture into the GMAC Championships, as they were a member of the GLIAC last season, where they reached the postseason as the six-seed before dropping their opening contests.
Scouting the Cavaliers:
Walsh earned the fourth seed into the playoffs with a 3-3 record against GMAC competition. The Cavaliers did not find much success outside of the conference on the year, though, as they enter the postseason with a 5-17 overall record. In GMAC play, they defeated Davis & Elkins, Cedarville, and Kentucky Wesleyan while falling to the other three teams in the conference tournament in Tiffin, Findlay, and Hillsdale.
Jakob Riglewski leads the Cavaliers, as he went 4-1 from the No. 1 spot in conference action this season. Alex Medina went 2-2 in GMAC play switching between the No. 3 and 4 spots, while Guilherme Carneiro was also 2-2 in conference action, playing primarily in the No. 5 position.
In doubles, Riglewski and Tim Bruin were the only Cavaliers that consistently played together across the six GMAC matches, going 4-1 from the No. 2 position.
Scouting the Oilers:
Findlay enters the postseason with an 11-6 overall record and 5-1 mark in GMAC play that earned them the second seed in the championships. The Oilers have won five of their last seven matches, with the only blemishes during that stretch coming against Tiffin and nonconference foe Southern Indiana.
Tomas Kmetko is a very strong No. 1 player for the Oilers, going 5-1 in conference play with his only defeat coming to TU's de la Rosa Mora in three sets. Jorge Barnuevo may have been the best from the No. 2 position in the conference on the year, going a perfect 6-0 against GMAC competition. Like Kmetko, Findlay's No. 3 player Carlos Blanco went 5-1 in the conference, with his only loss at the hands of TU's Navrotchi. The other three Oilers to have made the starting lineup most frequently are Alfredo Berianga (2-2 at No. 4), Eduardo Munoz (1-2 between No. 5 and 6), and Sergio Palacio (1-2 across No. 4, 5 and 6).
Kmetko and Barnuevo were also formidable as a No. 1 doubles pairing, going 5-1 with their only defeat coming against TU's Cutting and Parfenov. After a lot of shuffling pairings around between the No. 2 and 3 spots at the beginning of conference play, the duo of Blanco and Nicholas Kopylec emerged as the No. 2 pairing for the last three matches of the season and went 2-1, while Berianga and Munoz took the court most often at No. 3 and finished with a 3-1 record in GMAC action.
Scouting the Chargers:
Last year's GMAC Championship team champions, Hillsdale enters this season's tournament as the three-seed after going 4-2 in conference play and 14-8 overall.
Charlie Adams played the majority of the season at the No. 1 singles position, going 2-2, while Justin Hyman went 2-3 from the No. 2 spot. John Ciraci finished conference action 3-1 primarily out of the No. 3 spot, and Michael Szabo was 3-2 from the No. 4 position. Brian Hackman was 2-2 at No. 5, while Gabe Katz slotted in at No. 6 but only finished two matches, winning both.
Adams and Hyman teamed up at No. 1 doubles in all six GMAC matches, going 4-2. Hackman and Szabo paired up for five of the six No. 2 matches, finishing 3-2, while Ciraci and Katz went 1-2 from the No. 3 position.