MOBILE, Ala. – A spectacular 2019 season came to end for the Midland University men’s tennis team on Tuesday as the Warriors fell in their opening round match at the NAIA National Tournament.
The 24th-seeded Warriors (12-9 overall) fell 8-1 to the ninth-seeded and No. 10 ranked William Woods Owls (22-2 overall) in the first round of the single elimination championship bracket, putting an end to a successful season.
The Owls made easy work of Midland with an 8-1 advantage in the match. In doubles, the Warriors managed to win just five sets across all three matches.
Singles play was just as difficult for the Warriors as the Owls simply had them outmatched. Each of the five matches that went in favor of the Owls was completed in straight sets.
Senior Ryan Vitera ended his career as a Warrior with a win in the fives matchup, as he defeated William Woods’ No. 5 Nathan Cooke in three hard-fought sets (6-0, 2-6, 6-3). Vitera ends a great personal run with a win at the National Tournament after his singles win in the GPAC Championship match versus Doane helped the Warriors clinch the final spot in the national field.
On top of winning the GPAC Tournament, the Warriors tied with Doane and Hastings for a share of the 2019 GPAC regular season title. Midland went on to defeat Northwestern, Hastings, and Doane to win the GPAC Tournament and secure the program’s first ever berth in the NAIA National Tournament.
While the season now comes to an end, it is truly a stepping stone for Midland tennis to get a taste of what it is like to be on a national stage and to compete against some of the best players in the country. The Warriors have plenty of success to build off of as they prepare to make another run at the GPAC title and national tournament field in 2020.