MEN'S TENNIS DRAWS #2 VIRGINIA IN NCAA TOURNAMENT FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – After clinching its second consecutive NCAA Tournament automatic bid by winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title, the Monmouth University men's tennis team drew #2 Virginia during the NCAA Selection Show on Tuesday evening. The Cavaliers are back-to-back defending national champions, and have won three out of the last four NCAA Championships. The teams will meet for the second straight season in the NCAA Tournament, as #1 Virginia defeated Monmouth last season, 4-0. This year's match is scheduled for Friday, May 12 in Charlottesville, VA, and the winner will face either Columbia or Purdue.
“We made the trip to Virginia earlier in the season,” said MAAC Coach of the Year Alex Kasarov. “It's an incredible opportunity for us to play against the back-to-back national champions. The way their coaching staff approaches everything and their organization is top-notch, and they are a program we try to emulate. We're excited and looking forward to this challenge.”
Monmouth finished the 2017 campaign with a perfect 7-0 MAAC record, including five sweeps. The Cavaliers were ranked #3 in the latest ITA men's tennis rankings after a 28-1 season. Virginia won the 2017 ACC Championship after a 17-0 record at home this season.
Monmouth and Virginia had two matches this season in Charlottesville, as the Cavaliers swept the Hawks both times, 4-0. Playing against the #9 player in the nation in Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Nicola Pipoli fell by a score of 6-0, 6-4. Przemyslaw Filipek faced Kwiatkowski the next day, with the eventual score coming out to 6-2, 2-3, unfinished. Facing Virginia's #59 J.C. Aragone, Filipek dropped the first set 6-4, before the next set was unfinished at 2-2.
After an undefeated conference season and a win over #4 Fairfield in the semifinals, the top-seeded Monmouth Hawks won their second consecutive MAAC Championship on Sunday, defeating #2 Marist by a score of 4-1. Senior Przemyslaw Filipek clinched the victory for Monmouth at #2 singles, earning the fourth point for the Hawks after they won the doubles point and two other singles matches. At #1 doubles, Filipek and teammate Ale Gomez Estrada handled the Red Foxes to take the 6-2 win. After senior Christian Vieira and freshman Vikrant Dahiya fell at #3, the doubles point came down to Nicola Pipoli and Alberto Giuffrida, who pulled out the clutch 6-6, 7-3 victory in a tiebreaker.
Pipoli, who was named MAAC Most Outstanding Performer after the match, earned the 6-2, 6-2 win at #1 singles over Marist's Javier Restrepo, who was named MAAC Player of the Year prior to the tournament.
“We're all just so excited,” said senior Christian Vieira. “It's an honor to go to the NCAA Tournament. All of the hard work we've put in throughout the year, it's all for this goal that we set. We're looking forward to taking on Virginia.”
Stay tuned to www.monmouthhawks.com and follow @MUMTennis on Twitter for more information leading up to the First Round.