ELON, N.C., Oct. 25, 2013 – The James Madison men’s tennis team completed its best day of competition this fall season, winning six singles and three doubles matches on the first day of the Elon Fall Invitational.
All eight players on the Dukes’ roster notched at least one win in either singles or doubles play Friday. Freshmen Sebastian Salinas (Merida, Mexico/Preparatoria Abierta SEP), Miljan Ruzic (Sydney, Australia/St. Euphemia College), Niels Kathol (Bonn, Germany/Collegium Josephinum Bonn), Brett Moorhead (Midlothian, Va./Cosby), and sophomore Maxi Branth (Stockholm, Sweden/Tullinge Gymnasium) all advanced to the quarterfinals in singles.
Salinas opened play in the A1 Singles Draw with a three-set win over Georgia State’s Sofiane Chevallier. Salinas dropped the first set 4-6, but responded with 6-2, 6-1 wins in the final two. He will play Elon’s Brian Kowalksi in the next round.
Branth and Moorhead, competing in the A2 Singles Draw, both won their opening round matches in straight sets. Moorhead topped UNC Asheville’s Alex Croker 6-2, 6-2, and will play Elon’s Chris Humphreys in the quarterfinals. Branth improved to 6-3 this fall with a 6-3, 6-2 win over North Carolina Central’s Stephan Charles-Donatien, advancing to play Georgia Southern’s Nico Degroof.
Ruzic and Kathol picked up their wins in straight sets while playing in the B1 Singles Draw. Ruzic cruised past North Carolina Central’s Tamina Kienka 6-3, 6-2, and will play Elon’s Juan Madrid in his next match. Kathol beat Georgia State’s Chinmay Handa 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals, where he will play North Carolina Central’s William East.
Freshman Alex Berdnikoff (Calgary, Alberta/Edge School for Athletes) won his first round match over Ben Tolhurst but lost his second round match. He will continue play in the consolation bracket.
The doubles team of sophomore Robert Stirling (Caboolture, Australia/St. Columbans College) and Ruzic won a thrilling 8-7 (2) match to advance to the semifinals in doubles action. The Dukes’ teams of Berdnikoff/Kathol and Branth/freshman Mason Smith (Norfolk, Va./Cape Henry Collegiate School) both advanced to the semifinals with 8-2 wins.
Play will resume Saturday at 9 a.m.