Tulsa, Okla. - The Nebraska men's tennis team saw a lot of success Thursday at the USTA/ITA Central Region Tournament in the qualifying singles play at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. Six Huskers play in final round qualifying matches Friday morning to determine if they advance to the main draw, where four of their teammates are waiting to begin their action after being selected for the main draw.
In a pre-qualifying match, Nebraska's Scott Elsass and Court Clark dueled to determine who would participate in the qualifying draw. Elsass defeated Clark and moved on to qualifying as Clark dropped to the qualifying consolation bracket.
In qualifying singles, NU's Brandon Videtich rolled past Western Illinois' Brandon Meeker 6-2, 6-2 and Arkansas' Jacob Herndon 6-3, 6-4 in the first two rounds. Nebraska's Vasileios Stavropoulos outpaced Oklahoma State's Brandon Champagne 6-0, 6-0 and Drake's Euan McIntosh 7-6 (5), 6-3 to make the final round. Fellow Husker Elsass defeated Western Illinois' Ben Yue 7-5, 6-1 and SIUE's Matthew Hutchinson 6-3, 6-2 in his first two matches.
Continuing qualifying singles success, the scarlet and cream's Beau Treyz toppled UMKC's Danny DeZamacona 6-1, 6-0 as well as UMKC's Uldis Gaismins 6-2, 6-2. NU's Bradford Zitsch stormed past UMKC's Vinny Pham 7-6 (4), 3-6, 1-0 (8) and Iowa's Joey While 6-2, 5-7, 1-0 (3). The final Husker in the qualifying singles was Charlie Shin who scorced SIUC's Szymon Opieczonek 7-6 (2), 6-3 and Arkansas' Johan den Toom 7-5, 6-7 (7), 1-0 (7).
Nebraska's Clark won in his qualifying consolation bracket match where he beat SIUE's Stephen Washuta 7-5, 6-1.
Matches for the qualifying final round begin at 8 a.m. Friday. Nebraska's Videtich is slated against Iowa's Dominic Patrick while fellow Husker Treyz faces Iowa's Chase Tomlins. NU's Zitsch challenges Oklahoma State's Matthew Campbell as the scarlet and cream's Shin takes on Iowa's Brian Alden. There will be a Husker shootout in one qualifying final round match as Stavropoulos and Elsass are pitted against each other trying to proceed to the main draw.
In the main singles draw Nebraska's No. 8-seeded Dusty Boyer goes head-to-head with Minnesota's Franz Sydow and fellow Husker Tom Blackwell is scheduled against Drake's Ravi Patel. The Big Red's Andrew Dzulynsky will face ITA pre-seaon newcomer/freshman No. 10-ranked Oklahoma's Alex Ghilea while NU's No. 9-seeded Marc Herrmann sits across the net from one of the qualifying final round winners upon determination of that spot.
Main draw doubles begins Friday as well where the Huskers have five tandems in the bracket. Nebraska's Stavropoulos and Dzulynsky take on UMKC's Jai Grewal and Jonathan Rodgers while fellow Husker duo Clark and Shin challenge Oklahoma's Austin Siegel and Dane Webb. NU's Boyer and Blacwell are set to face Western Illinois' Christopher Haertel and Ben Yue while the scarlet and cream's Zitsch and Videtich go toe-to-toe with Drake's Ben Lott and Euan McIntosh. The final Husker pair is Herrmann and Treyz who have a match against Minnesota's Franz Sydow and Ruben Weber.
"It was a dood day today," Nebraska Head Coach Kerry McDermott said. "We advanced six guys through to tommorrow's final round of singles qualifying winning, 14 of 15 matches played. We need to play well tommorrow morning and continue to believe in ourselves and fight hard. We had a few guys actually not play well but won through sheer determination."
Friday's results will be posted here on Huskers.com as they become available at the conclusion of play. Go Big Red!