INDIANAPOLIS - Western Illinois men's tennis defeated IUPUI 4-3 in a key Summit League match at the West Indy Racquet Club on Sunday.
The Leathernecks (8-15) improve to 2-1 in conference play and put themselves in good position to clinch a berth in the Summit League Tournament. IUPUI falls to 5-18 overall and 2-3 in league action.
Western Illinois is tied with South Dakota State for second in the conference, and can clinch a spot in the tournament with a win against either SDSU on Friday or Fort Wayne on Sunday.
After dropping the doubles point, the Leathernecks rallied to win four of the six singles points to clinch the match.
Hammers won 6-4, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, while Holt took the 6-3, 6-3 decision at No. 3 singles.
The last two wins for Western, though, both came down to the wire.
Mitch Granger rallied after dropping the first set to pull out the 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win that evened the match.
At No. 6 singles, Max Cederkall needed a tiebreak to eventually take the 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) victory to clinch the win.
"We were down and out, yet fought back to win," head coach Chris Kane said. "We lost the doubles point, and the two of the first three singles matches to go down 3-1. Brad Holt started the comeback in two workmanlike sets. Mitch Granger lost the first set, and then proceeded to take the next two for the win. With the match squared at 3-3, Max Cederkall finally prevailed, winning on his sixth match point. [It was] a great win for the Leathernecks.
"This was a great win for our program," Kane added. "Since I've been at Western, and when healthy, we've usually fought with the Jags to be the second-best team in the Summit League. We're very evenly matched, and our matches usually take about four hours to play. Today, we had a hunger to win."
The Leathernecks will return home to take on South Dakota State on Friday at 3:30 p.m. before concluding the regular season against Fort Wayne on Sunday at 10 a.m. in Macomb.
1. Jason Jaruvang (IUPUI) def. Christoph Haertel (WIU) 6-2, 6-1
2. Patrick Hammers (WIU) def. Jake Hedderig (IUPUI) 6-4, 6-1
3. Bradley Holt (WIU) def. Nick Volz (IUPUI) 6-3, 6-3
4. Deon Shafer (IUPUI) def. Ben Yue (WIU) 6-0, 6-2
5. Mitch Granger (WIU) def. Armaan Choudhary (IUPUI) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
6. Max Cederkall (WIU) def. Louis Sacks (IUPUI) 6-4, 7-6 (9-7)
1. Jacob Bradley/Nick Volz (IUPUI) def. Christoph Haertel/Bradley Holt (WIU) 8-7 (7-4)
2. Patrick O'Neill/Deon Shafer (IUPUI) def. Ben Yue/Mitch Granger (WIU) 8-6
3. Jake Hedderig/Jason Jaruvang (IUPUI) def. Patrick Hammers/Brandon Meeker (WIU) 9-7