SOSU Tennis earns trip to Nationals

KEARNEY, Neb. - No. 19 Southeastern stormed back from a 2-1 doubles deficit with four singles victories over No. 20 Nebraska-Kearney to earn a 5-3 win to punch its ticket to the NCAA Division II Men's Tennis Championship Finals in Denver, Colo., as part of the Division II Spring Championships Festival.

The win lifts the Savage Storm to 16-2 overall on the year heading into the national finals May 18-21.

After SE fell behind 1-0 with a loss at number three doubles, but the duo of Netanel Alcabas and Alberto Blesa evened the match at 1-1 with an 8-5 win over Mohab El Zanaty and Lucas Garces at number two.

However, the Lopers would take the number one doubles match and head into singles play with a 2-1 advantage.

That advantage would not last long though as Blesa would cruise to a 6-1, 6-4 win over Joey Richards at number four singles to even the score at 2-2.

Jack Gibbens put the Storm in front shortly after with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Justin Nguyen at number three to take a 3-2 lead in the match.

UNK would pick up a win at number five to even the score at 3-3, but Maksim Fil would respond and put Southeastern up for good with a 7-5, 6-3 win at number one over Alvaro Arias.

Petar Popovic would provide the clinching victory with a 6-4, 6-2 win at number six over Garces to secure the 5-3 win and a trip to Denver.

The trip to the final 16 is the team's first since joining the NCAA and they will join the Savage Storm men's golf team in Denver after the latter qualified for its national finals by finishing second in the Central/Midwest Super Regional.