SAN ANTONIO, Tex. - The 2017 Division III Men's Southwest Regional Championships hosted by Trinity University finally got under way as weather altered the schedule of play for both qualifying on Thursday and first round singles matches on Friday morning.
Like something out of the feature film, "Friday Night Lights," rainy conditions forced the coaches to determine qualifying singles via coin flip. 16 qualifying singles matches were decided by a best two-out-of-three flip of the coin, orchestrated by an ITA Official, followed by 8 doubles contests once the tournament committee determined there was no possibility of playing the matches without adversely affecting the proceeding days of competition. Calum Robe "qualified" his way into A-Draw singles, as did Robe and senior partner Erik Meendsen.
The rain continued through the morning, pushing 8am matches to start at 2:45pm. Austin College was only successful in one first round singles match, as Robe solidified his place in the main event with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Nick Pena of Schreiner University. Robe would fall 6-0, 6-3 to Alberto Hernandez of UT-Dallas in the Round of 32 6-0, 6-3, but earning his first A-Draw victory over a former #1 singles player on a conference opponent squad is a great way to close the book on his first fall singles season.
Siddharth Kortikere took the first set from 8th-seeded Liam Crawley of Trinity 6-3, but fell 1-6, 1-0 (8) in a closely contested third set super-tiebreaker. After his doubles partner, Kenneth Hardy, fell to 9th-seeded Jace Akagi-Okuma of Trinity 6-3, 6-3, the two defaulted from singles due to injury.
Erik Meendsen battled hard against Levi Cook of Hardin-Simmons after losing the first set 1-6, taking the second set 6-3, but falling 10-7 in the super tiebreker. He would falter against Giovanni Zamboni of UT-Dallas in his first round consolation match 6-0, 6-4. But Meendsen and Robe would consolidate their qualifying entry into A-draw Doubles with a tough 9-7 victory over Newman/Albright of Schreiner University; Meendsen's first career A-doubles victory in 3 attempts.
Pieter Jon Cabato drew McMurry standout and 9th-seeded Carlos Martinez first round, dropping a tight 6-4, 6-1 decision, but would advance to the consolation round of 16 through a walkover when his opponent retired from consolation singles.
Josh Granberry drew 6th-seeded Alex Hunt of Hardin-Simmons first round, and was defeated 6-2, 6-2 in that contest. In his first round consolation match, Granberry rolled to an impressive 6-3, 6-0 victory over Schreiner's Josh Newman to the consolation Round of 16.
Only one singles match in B and C draws was completed due to uncooperative weather conditions, but 3rd-seeded Andres Padilla, Travis Fortune, and Preston Spivey all picked up 8-game pro-set victories in B, while Safe Rahman moved on to his Round of 16 in C-singles with an 8-game pro-set victory of his own.
Though singles may not have seen a deep run from many Kangaroos, doubles was where Austin College shined on Day 1. Hardy & Kortikere rolled to an 8-3 victory over LeTourneau, Padilla & Fortune cruised to an 8-1 victory over Sul Ross State, Spivey & Rahman were dominant in a LeTourneau matchup of their own, and the aforementioned Meendsen/Robe victory made it 4-out-of-5 for Austin College on Day 1. The only defeat came at the hands of the #2 seed in A-Doubles, Southwestern, as they were forced to battle deep in each game for their 8-3 victory over Granberry & Cabato.
Play resumes on Saturday, 9/30 at 9:00am on the campus of Trinity University
R64 Cook (HSU) def. Meendsen (AC) 6-1, 3-6, 1-0 (7)
R64 Robe (AC) def. Pena (SCH) 6-1, 6-1
R64 #9 Martinez (MCM) def. Cabato (AC) 6-4, 6-1
R64 #8 Crawley (TU) def. Kortikere (AC) 3-6, 6-1, 1-0 (8)
R64 #6 Hunt (HSU) def. Granberry (AC) 6-2, 6-2
R64 #9 Akagi-Okuma (TU) def. Hardy (AC) 6-3, 6-3
R32 #9 Hernandez (UTD) def. Robe (AC) 6-0, 6-3
CR32 Granberry (AC) def. Newman (SCH) 6-0, 6-3
CR32 Cabato (AC) def. Mason (ETBU) default
CR32 Zamboni (UTD) def. Meendsen (AC) 6-0, 6-4
CR32 Weinkam (HSU) def. Kortikere (AC) default
CR32 Fields (HSU) def. Hardy (AC) default
R32 #3 Padilla (AC) def. Jimenez (SCH) 8-4
R32 Fortune (AC) def. K. Boyd (HSU) 8-6
R32 Spivey (AC) def. Kauffman (HEN) 9-7
R32 Rahman (AC) def. Lefler (HEN) 8-1
R32 #4 Hardy/Kortikere (AC) def. Lopez/Chairez (LeT) 8-3
R32 Meendsen/Robe (AC) def. Newman/Albright (SCH) 9-7
R32 #2 Dimanche/Gideon (SU) def. Cabato/Granberry (AC) 8-3
R32 #8 Padilla/Fortune (AC) def. Llamas/Gaytan (SUL) 8-1
R32 Spivey/Rahman (AC) def. Wall/Wallace (LeT) 8-2