Baron Tennis Team is Runner-Up in AMCC

WEXFORD, Pa. — The Franciscan University men's tennis team secured runner-up in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference at the championship Sunday at Oxford Athletic Club. After being defeated by Franciscan in the 2011 season, Penn State Behrend won the championship for the fourth time in five years. 

"To compete at the level we competed and still be able to represent Christ and Franciscan in a positive light is absolutely fantastic," said head coach Jeremy Ellis. "The guys displayed great sportsmanship today and I am so proud to be their coach."

The Barons made their presence known by playing in seven of the nine championship matches on Sunday.

No. 2 doubles team, sophomores Leonel Lacayo and Luke Merry were seeded second. They persevered to defeat Behrend's No. 1 seeded Lerdlarp Jaturapol and Mason Marion in the final round of doubles 9-8 after winning the tiebreaker, earning Lacayo and Merry the title of AMCC No. 2 doubles champions.

John Shultis and Richard Pankus put up a fight until the end in the No. 3 doubles championship match falling to Penn State Behrend's Raphael Bretz and Alex Prichard 9-8 after a tiebreaker. 

Leonel Lacayo went on to the singles play and shut out Penn State Behrend's Taimi Ando, 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinals round. Lacayo did not back down and defeated Penn State Altoona's Max Averbach 6-1, 6-1 in the final match, earning his first-ever individual title. 

"Leonel played fantastic and really gave it all he had," noted Ellis. 

Sophomore Brian Robau utilized good hustling on the court to defeat Behrend's Alex Prichard 6-1, 6-3 in the semifinals. In the final round he kept his momentum rolling and defeated D'Youville College's Jericko Gonzalez 6-0, 6-1 to secure the No. 3 singles individual champion title for the second year in a row.

In the No. 2 singles match, sophomore Paul Jarzynka, seeded No. 1, faced Penn State Behrend's  No. 2 seeded Chris Galvin and lost 6-3, 6-2. Sophomore Luke Merry also put up a fight in the No. 4 singles championship match barely falling to Behrend's Lerdlarp Jaturapol in the first set of the match 7-6 and then 6-1 in the second set. In the No. 5 singles championship match sophomore John Shultis was defeated by Penn State Behrend's Mason Marion 6-4, 6-1.

"It was a great season," said Ellis. "It is always a humbling experience to have a successful season and fall short in the end, but it keeps you fighting for more in the future."

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