The 11th-ranked Kenyon men's tennis team wrapped up its season in the third round of the 2019 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championships with a 5-2 loss against No. 5 Wesleyan on Sunday. As a team, the Lords wrapped up the 2019 campaign with a 19-4 record.
After receiving a bye in the first round, the Lords advanced to the third round with a 5-2 win over No. 24 Johns Hopkins in the second round on Saturday.
The Lords fell behind early in the match, trailing 2-1 after doubles action, with the doubles win coming from the No. 3 tandem of Austin Diehl (O'Fallon, MO/Home Schooled) and Jacob Zalenski (Canton, OH/Jackson), 8-7 (10-8). In singles, Diehl would earn Kenyon's lone point with a three-set victory at the No. 2 flight, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6).
While no NCAC teams will advance to Michigan for the team championships, one individual has qualified to compete in the 2019 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Singles Championship, set for May 24-26 at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Locked in, for the second straight season, Zalenksi is one of 32 participants in the singles championship, while teammate Diehl was designated the second alternate. If a player scratches from the tournament field, he'll be replaced in sequential order by an alternate from the published list. Vishnu Joshi of Johns Hopkins University is the first on the alternate list, just ahead of Diehl.
Contributions from Kenyon Athletic Communications
No. 11 Kenyon defeated No. 24 Johns Hopkins, 5-2, in the second round of the NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament on Saturday. The victory moves the Lords into the third round of the national tournament for the 12th-straight season where they will face No. 5 Wesleyan tomorrow at 12. Earlier in the season, the Cardinals edged Kenyon 5-3 in Orlando, Florida.
Kenyon got out to a 2-1 match lead after doubles against the Blue Jays. At the No. 3 flight, Jacob Zalenski (Canton, OH/Jackson) and Austin Diehl (O'Fallon, MO/Home Schooled) won 8-2, while Nicholas Paolucci (Grosse Pointe, MI/Grosse Pointe South) and Henry Barrett (Towson, MD/Gilman School) claimed an 8-6 victory at No. 2.
After being tied 2-2, Zalenski regained the lead for the Lords at the top singles flight, with a 6-1, 6-4 victory. Kenyon would also earn wins from Brian Yoshino (Dublin, OH/Dublin Coffman) and Diehl.
The Kenyon Men’s Tennis team earned a first-round bye in the 2019 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Tournament after winning the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) title last week in Indianapolis, Ind.
The No. 11-ranked Lords (18-3) will await the winner of No. 25-ranked Johns Hopkins (16-4) and Washington & Jefferson (15-3) which will be played Friday, May 10, on the campus of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. Johns Hopkins won the Centennial Conference Tournament and will host the opening three rounds of the regional. Washington & Jefferson earned it's berth by winning the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) tournament. Kenyon’s second-round match will be Saturday, May 11.
On the other side of the regional at JHU, John Carroll University (9-9) and Franciscan University (10-12) will face off on Friday. The Blue Streaks won the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) while the Barons claimed the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC).
The teams will play a single-elimination tournament with the first, second- and third-rounds played at regional sites. Kalamazoo College will host the team championships finals, which will be held May 20-22 at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The championships provide for a 43-team tournament. Automatic qualification (AQ) is granted to 35 conference champions, which form "Pool A." Three teams will be selected from true independents and schools from conferences that do not have an automatic bid for their champions (Pool B). The remaining five teams are selected from those teams in conferences with automatic bids that did not win their conference's AQ and the remaining Pool B institutions (Pool C). The teams are geographically paired, whenever possible.