Men's Tennis Takes Back AMCC Championship
WEXFORD, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend men's tennis team captured their sixth Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Championship and fourth title in five years at the Oxford Athletic Club North on Sunday.
The Lions won four out of six singles matches in addition to No. 1 and No. 3 doubles to take back the AMCC crown they last earned in 2010. Behrend, who lost to Franciscan 5-4 during the regular season, defeated the defending champions to earn the conference's first automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
With only one returning veteran of the tournament, the Lions were victorious at the No. 2, 4, 5 and 6 singles led by junior Chris Galvin (Erie, PA/McDowell). Galvin earned his second individual title in his career. Seeded second entering the tournament, he posted a 6-4, 6-3 decision in the semifinals before upsetting Paul Jarzynka of Franciscan with a 6-3, 6-2 victory for the singles championship.
Lerdlarp Jaturapol (Bangkok, Thailand/Palmerslon) and Mason Marion (Ellwood City, PA/Riverside) stood up to the No. 1 seed, claiming the No. 4 and 5 singles title, respectively. Jaturapol won his first AMCC individual crown with an easy 6-1, 6-2 victory against Charles Fitzpatrick of Pitt-Bradford to advance to the championship match. The freshman narrowly edged Luke Merry of Franciscan in the first set 7-6 and then won the title with a 6-1 score in the second set.
Marion picked up his first AMCC individual championship and third title for the Lions, winning 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals and then downing second-seeded John Schultis, 6-4, 6-1. For Carson Emili (Pittsburgh, PA/Mt. Lebanon) at sixth singles, the freshman had an uphill battle as the No. 3 seed. His momentum from a 6-4, 6-4 upset win over No. 2 Jack Bruce of Franciscan carried over to the championship match, where he defeated Sebastian Bonifasi of Penn State Altoona 7-6, 6-1 to be named champion.
Galvin picked up his second championship with teammate Taimi Ando (Franklin Lakes, NJ/Ramapo) at No. 1 doubles. After an 8-1 semifinal win, the pair turned the finals into a true championship match with a 9-7 victory over third-seed Steve Beatty and Jericko Gonzalez of D'Youville.
Raphael Bretz (Wexford, PA/North Allegheny) and Alex Prichard (Erie, PA/Cathedral Prep) got their first taste at a championship at No. 3 doubles. Entering the tournament at the No. 4 seed, the two had to win three matches to earn the AMCC title. Bretz and Prichard did just that and won the doubles title with a 9-8 decision over Shultis and Richard Pankus of Franciscan.
It was the same score (9-8) that cost Jaturapol and Marion the conference championship at No. 2 doubles. The No. 1 seed posted an 8-1 score in the semifinals, before dropping the close decision to Leonel Lacayo and Merry of Franciscan to finish second overall.
Behrend will participate in its first NCAA Tournament on May 21-23 in Cary, North Carolina.