Miami Falls against Arizona State, 4-0
FORT WORTH, Texas – Reaching the NCAA Championship for the second consecutive season for the first time since 2009, the University of Miami men’s tennis team came up short Friday afternoon against No. 27 Arizona State.
No. 33 Miami (17-11, 7-5 ACC) fell to the Sun Devils, 4-0, at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center to conclude the 2019 campaign.
The Hurricanes took the early advantage in doubles on court 2, as redshirt junior Dane Dunlap and sophomore Bojan Jankulovski topped Andrea Bolla and Tim Ruehl, 6-2.
Moments later, Arizona State (14-13, 4-4 P12) evened the playing field when No. 80 Makey Rakotomalala and Justin Roberts defeated freshmen Franco Aubone and Francisco Bastias, 6-3.
Battling the nation’s No. 17-ranked doubles tandem, junior Stephen Madonia and sophomore Adria Soriano Barrera came up short against Dominik Kellovsky and Nathan Ponwith, 6-7 (1-7).
The Sun Devils carried momentum into singles, with Ruehl taking down No. 87 Jankulovski 6-2, 6-0, as Arizona State took a 2-0 lead in the overall match.
Competing on court 6, sophomore William Grattan-Smith came up short against Rakotomalala, 3-6, 4-6, as the Sun Devils moved within a match of clinching.
Trailing 3-5 in the second set, Aubone claimed the next two games to even the set at 5-5. However, Bolla won the final two games to clinch the match for Arizona State, 6-4, 7-5.
The final three matches remained unfinished, with Miami looking to mount a comeback on all three.
In a top-100 showdown, No. 99 Ponwith cruised in the opening set, 6-0, against No. 33 Soriano Barrera. Following the set-back, the Miami sophomore claimed the second set, 7-5, and led, 0-6, 7-5, 2-1, when play was halted.
At No. 3 singles, Dunlap led in the second-set tiebreaker, looking to force a third against Roberts, 4-6, 6-6 (6-5), while Bastias trailed against Kellovsky, 5-7, 5-6.
With the defeat, Miami drops to 16-28 all-time in NCAA Team Championship play, including 1-2 under third-year head coach Aljosa Piric.
Along with making the NCAA Championship for the second straight year, the Canes boasted an 11-1 mark at home, reached the ACC Championship quarterfinals for the first time since 2011 and secured the program’s highest seed, fifth, in eight years at the conference tournament.
1. #99 Nathan Ponwith (ASU) vs. #33 A. Soriano Barrera (UM) 6-0, 5-7, 1-2, unfinished
2. Dominik Kellovsky (ASU) vs. Francisco Bastias (UM) 7-5, 6-5, unfinished
3. Justin Roberts (ASU) vs. Dane Dunlap (UM) 6-4, 6-6, unfinished
4. Tim Ruehl (ASU) def. #87 Bojan Jankulovski (UM) 6-2, 6-0
5. Andrea Bolla (ASU) def. Franco Aubone (UM) 6-4, 7-5
6. Makey Rakotomalala (ASU) def. W. Grattan-Smith (UM) 6-3, 6-4
1. #17 Dominik Kellovsky/Nathan Ponwith (ASU) def. Stephen Madonia/A. Soriano Barrera (UM) 7-6 (7-1)
2. Dane Dunlap/Bojan Jankulovski (UM) def. Andrea Bolla/Tim Ruehl (ASU) 6-2
3. #80 Makey Rakotomalala/Justin Roberts (ASU) def. Franco Aubone/Francisco Bastias (UM) 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,6,5)