ABILENE, Texas – A well-rounded showing from St. Mary’s men’s tennis in the 2012 USTA/ITA South Central Regional has claimed a national spotlight.
In his final season as a Rattler, Zach Nicholson (Maryland) definitely came strong.
Nicholson first defeated Texas-Permian Basin’s Jonathon Rutledge 6-4, 6-3 before knocking off two straight top-seeded competitors. Taking it into three with a top-seeded St. Edward’s James Rogers merely prepped Nicholson for the rest of his matches, as he went on to defeat Abilene Christian’s top-seeded Borja Cortes 6-4, 6-7, 10-6. Nicholson then fell to top-seeded Luke Joyce of Midwestern State in the quarterfinals, but his work had already been done.
Nicholson’s defeat of two already nationally ranked players and his stance in the quarterfinals could land him a national ranking, which is a start the senior can most certainly work with this season.
Joining Nicholson in accolades last weekend was senior Andrej Kilpa. After being narrowly defeated by Oklahoma Christian’s star Paulo Roessle 6-4, 7-5, Kilpa bounced back to win four straight and claim the Men’s Consolation Singles Championship with a defeat over St. Edward’s Felic Blake 6-3, 6-3.
Carlos Olea (Jr., Matamoros, Mexico) was also represented in the Men’s Consolation Singles, advancing to the quarterfinals before falling to Western New Mexico’s Jorge Fernandez 6-4, 6-4. Kilpa would defeat him in the very next round.
In the Men’s Singles ‘B’ Draw, newcomer Brian Chowaniece (Fr., Buffalo, N.Y.) advanced after defeating McMurry’s Kendall Mann before falling to Midwestern State’s Tomas Grejtak 8-1. Chowaniece also struck victory in the Men’s Doubles ‘B’ Draw with fellow newcomer Matt Jones (Fr., San Antonio). The freshmen duo advanced to the quarterfinals before being eliminated by Abilene Christian.
Nicholson and his anticipated national ranking, as well as Kilpa’s and the rest of the Rattlers’ success last weekend, indicates a promising season ahead.