Men’s tennis finishes strong season with NCAA appearance

Bryan Grabauskas

To start the season, the men’s tennis team played in the Emporia State Invitational.

They performed well overall and reached the final matches, but lost them. Soon after that, they played in the Wheatstate Fall Classic, where they won a singles flight and two doubles flights.

The team proceeded to defeat their first two solo opponents, both with scores of 9-0. In the ITA tournament, Alejandro Valarezo advanced all the way to the championship match, but was defeated. That concluded fall play.

Spring action began with a loss to Drury University. After that, though, the team won five consecutive contests. Within this victory streak, the team had two shutout wins of 9-0.

They then acquired their second loss of the season before winning another eight out of nine games to close out the season. They picked up another shutout win during that stretch.

In the postseason, the Ichabods won their first playoff game against the #1 ranked Northwest Missouri State. In the MIAA championship, they lost to Southwest Baptist University and their impressive season came to an end.

Matt Barlow, who went 24-5, was named All-MIAA first team in singles. This is his second first team selection in his career.

Alejandro Valarezo and Blake Hunter paired up to go 21-4, and they were named first-team All-MIAA in doubles.

Chase Brill was named co-freshman of the year and second-team All-MIAA. Brill was also named an honorable mention for All-MIAA with his partner, Paul Haase, in doubles.

“We had a historically strong season,” said Lance Lysaught, coach for the tennis program. “Men finished the season ranked 27th in the nation and beat Wichita State for the first time since 1942.”