NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's tennis earned significant victories across the board this weekend in the ITA Ohio Valley Regionals hosted by Vanderbilt University.
Most notably, the Bruins were the only participating school to place two teams in the quarterfinals of the doubles' main draw; top seed and event defending champion Hendrik Inno (Someru, Estonia) and Marko Ilic (Zagreb, Croatia) stormed through two teams from Vanderbilt - including the eighth-seeded pair of Maxwell Freeman and George Harwell - to reach the semifinals. The dynamic duo was ousted in a highly-competitive match with Pablo Caffarena and Victor Chaw of Lipscomb, 7-5, 6-4.
Not to be outdone, Felix Rauch (Osterode, Germany) and Taisei Miyamoto (Chiba, Japan) earned three big wins, including a stirring triumph over the fifth-seeded pair of Zac Brodney and Bennett Crane of Indiana, 8-6. They ultimately dropped a razor thin result to the second-seeded pair from Memphis.
"Being the only school with two doubles' teams in the quarterfinals is a huge accomplishment for our program," Belmont director of tennis Mauricio Antun said afterwards. "This was another example of how Hendrik and Marko have established a level of expectation and achievement, and we are proving to be far more than them in major tournaments. Felix and Taisei were outstanding, and I was proud of all the guys."
In main draw singles, Rauch highlighted play by advancing to the third round with convincing victories over opponents from Louisville and Middle Tennessee. Ilic earned victory over Vanderbilt before running into the overall top seed, Athell Bennett of Purdue. Jake Briggs (Marietta, Ga.) also earned a main draw win.
Meanwhile, Miyamoto, after nearly stunning second-seeded Frazier Rengifo of ETSU, steamrolled to the consolation bracket semifinals with four consecutive singles' wins.
"We still have a long way to go to prepare for the spring season, but I like where we are and what this team could be," Antun added.
The Bruins are slated to conclude fall play in the CCB Fall Invitational in Birmingham Nov. 1-3.
2019 ITA Ohio Valley Regionals
Main Draw Singles
David Mizrahi (LOU) def. Hendrik Inno (9) (BEL) 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-0
Felix Rauch (24) (BEL) def. James Bell (LOU) 6-1, 6-0
Marko Ilic (BEL) def. Adam Sraberg (VU) 6-3, 6-1
Jake Briggs (BEL) def. Alesandre Tabares (WSU) 6-2, 5-7, 6-1
Frazier Rengifo (2) (ETSU) def. Taisei Miyamoto (BEL) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
Felix Rauch (24) (BEL) def. Pavel Motl (MTSU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
Athell Bennett (1) (PUR) def. Marko Ilic (BEL) 6-1, 6-2
Kevin Huempfner (21) (UK) def. Jake Briggs (BEL) 6-3, 6-4
Zac Brodney (14) (IU) def. Feliz Rauch (24) (BEL) 7-6(2), 6-4
Consolation Draw Singles
Taisei Miyamoto (BEL) def. Christiaan Worst (VU) 7-6(0), 5-7, 10-7
Taisei Miyamoto (BEL) def. Tomas Rodriguez (UTC) 6-2, 6-2
Taisei Miyamoto (BEL) def. Matthew DeMarco (UD), W.O.
Taisei Miyamoto (BEL) def. Gonzalo Garcia-Nieto (LU) 6-2, 6-1
Carson Haskins (IU) def. Taisei Miyamoto (BEL) 6-3, 7-5
Main Draw Doubles
Inno/Ilic (1) (BEL) BYE
Rauch/Miyamoto (BEL) def. Garcia-Nieto/Ortegon (LU) 8-5
Inno/Ilic (1) (BEL) def. Edison/Lorino (APSU) 8-5
Rauch/Miyamoto (BEL) def. Antezana/Misdrachis (TSU) 8-2
Inno/Ilic (1) (BEL) def. Sisam/Sraberg (VU) 8-4
Rauch/Miyamoto (BEL) def. Brodney/Crane (5) (IU) 8-6
Inno/Ilic (1) (BEL) def. Freeman/Harwell (8) (VU) 8-5
Cutting/Stevenson (2) (MEM) def. Rauch/Miyamoto (BEL) 8-6
Caffarena/Chaw (LU) def. Inno/Ilic (1) (BEL) 7-5, 6-4