Johnson, VT- The MCLA Mixed Tennis team faced SUNY Delhi this afternoon in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) semifinal round hosted by NVU-Johnson. The Trailblazers dropped a heart breaking 5-4 decision to the Broncos, who advance to the NAC championships against Thomas.
MCLA, the #2 seed in the tournament, ends their season at 6-5. Delhi, which entered the tournament as the #3 seed, improves to 5-7.
The semifinal was a rematch from ten days ago when the Trailblazers defeated the Broncos 5-4 on their home court. This match was just as close and could have gone either way.
The Trailblazers knew they would need to rally and that's just what they did in singles play. Delhi's Chris Balogh and Payton Dean each collected wins at the second and third singles slots to build the lead to 4-1 and move the Broncos just one point away from advancing.
MCLA's Cal Najimy, who was just named All NAC yesterday, defeated Marcos Andrino in three sets for the Trailblazers second point. Sam Gawron then easily earned a point in the fourth slot and when Mohamed Mahrous defeated Bailey Lane in the fifth singles slot, it was tied up at 4-4.
The match came down to the sixth singles slot with MCLA's Higgins matched up with Jake Robinson of Delhi. They split the first two sets by 6-2 scores, but Robinson ultimately earned the point with a 6-1 third set victory and clinching a spot in the finals for the Broncos.
The match ends a winning season for MCLA and first year head coach Derek Shell.