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Reifies & McAuley Fall Short In NCAA Semis

The Wabash duo of Patrick McAuley (L) & Will Reifeis (R) dropped out of the 2018 NCAA Div. III Doubles Championships in the semifinal round
The Wabash duo of Patrick McAuley (L) & Will Reifeis (R) dropped out of the 2018 NCAA Div. III Doubles Championships in the semifinal round

The dream season of the Wabash College tennis doubles team of William Reifeis (Indianapolis, IN/North Central) and Patrick McAuley (Indianapolis, IN/North Central) came to an end Saturday afternoon in Claremont, California with a straight sets loss to the number one seed in the semifinals of the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Doubles Championship Tournament.

Reifeis and McAuley faced the Middlebury doubles team of Lubomir Cuba and Kyle Schlager. The Middlebury duo came into the match with a 26-3 record for the year with wins in their last 15 matches, including a victory in the team championship match earlier in the week to help the Panthers to their third team title in school history. Reifeis and McAuley were making the first appearance in the semifinal round of the NCAA Championship Tournament 1976 when Dave Brooks compete in singles. Brooks finished second in the nation that season, losing to John Blomburg from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in the title match.

Reifeis and McAuley split the first two games of Saturday's semifinal match before Cuba and Schlager took control to win the first set by a score of 6-2. The Wabash twosome won the first game of the second set and held serve to trail 3-2 midway through the second set. Cuba and Schlager once again took over to win the final three games of the set, winning the match by a score of 6-2 in the second set to advance to Saturday's championship final against Scott Rubinstein and James Spaulding from Emory. Cuba and Schlager won the individual title with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Rubinstein and Spaulding.

A senior who recently graduated from Wabash, Reifeis leaves the Wabash tennis program with the third-most wins in singles play with 73. His 92 career doubles wins is nearly 20 more than the second-best total in the Little Giants record book. He and McAuley combined for a 26-2 record for the season to set the single-season record for doubles winning percentage at .929. McAuley, who played in three matches in the fall with another partner due to an injury to Reifeis, set the single-season wins total in doubles play with 28.

Reifeis and McAuley earned All-America honors with their top-four finish in the doubles tournament. They entered competition as the second-ranked doubles team in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region poll. The final regional and national rankings will be released May 31.