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No. 5 Men’s Tennis Heads to Johns Hopkins for NCAA Regional

No. 5 Men’s Tennis Heads to Johns Hopkins for NCAA Regional

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – For just the second time in program history, the No. 5 Wesleyan men's tennis team has advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament, as the Cardinals earned an at-large bid. Wesleyan will travel to No. 24 Johns Hopkins and have a first-round bye, before taking on the winner of the John Carroll/Franciscan matchup on Saturday.

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The Cardinals have a 14-4 overall record, while finishing the regular-season with a 7-2 conference mark. Wesleyan was the second-seed in the NESCAC Tournament, but was edged 5-3 by top-seeded Middlebury.

In 2017, Wesleyan made a run in the NCAA Tournament, before eventually falling to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in NCAA Quarterfinal action. The 2017 season was a historic one for the Cardinals, as they recorded a program-record 15 wins and reached the postseason for the first time in school history.  

CARDINAL DOUBLES:

  • Adrian Roji and Noah Lilienthal, currently ranked No. 1 in the Northeast, have held steady at the #1 spot, boasting an impressive 14-3 overall record this spring.
  • The #2 and #3 spots have seen movement throughout the spring, but Princeton Carter has been a stalwart in the second-spot with several different partners. Last weekend in the NESCAC Semifinal, it was Carter and Jonathan Holtzman together. For most of Carter's matches, he has teamed up with Ali Mooraj, as the two have played 11 of 14 matches together.
  • The #3 spot at Wesleyan has seen successes from a few different tandems this spring, with Andrew Finkelman and Marcus Sweeney winning the last five together. Earlier in the season, it was Finkelman and Zach Fleischman who opened the 2019 campaign with a quartet of victories. 

CARDINAL SINGLES:

  • Finkelman, ranked No. 5 in the Northeast, has been steady in the #1 spot for the Cardinals, taking on several top-ranked players in the country. Last weekend, Finkelman suffered a tough loss (2-6, 4-6) to Middlebury's Lubomir Cuba, but it was Finkelman who topped the 2017 NCAA Singles Champion earlier this spring with a come-from-behind victory. Last year, Finkelman had a stellar rookie campaign where he reached the final of the New England ITA Regional Championships, earned a top-10 national ranking, was named All-NESCAC, and was just the third male in Wesleyan history to ever qualify for the NCAA Singles Championship.
  • Peter Anker has played in both the #1 and #2 spots throughout the year, and is ranked No. 20 in the Northeast. He began his rookie campaign this fall, having made it to the quarterfinals in doubles at the ITA Regional Championship, as well as the third round of singles. Anker heads into the tournament riding a four-match win streak, including a straight-sets 6-2, 6-4 victory over Middlebury's Noah Farrell last weekend.
  • Roji has played in the #2 and #3 spots primarily this spring, but played at #4 in the NESCAC Semifinals.
  • In his first-year, Lilienthal has played much of his time in the #4 position, but has moved up to #2 and #3 on occasion. He is 12-2 overall this spring, and 8-2 in the #4 spot. Last weekend, Lilienthal moved up to #3, and won decisively 6-2, 6-3, as he heads into the tournament riding a four-match win-streak
  • For a majority of the spring, Carter has been steady at #5 for the Cardinals, having dropped just three matches. Carter opened up the spring winning five-straight and has recorded key NESCAC wins against Bowdoin, Williams and Tufts.
  • Zach Lieb rounds out the squad for the Cardinals at #6, having played well in his first year on the team. Lieb has competed a majority of matches at the sixth-spot, but has also seen success at #2, #3 and #5. He started the spring with three-straight triumphs, and has come through with major match-clinching wins over Washington (Mo.) and Tufts.

JOHN CARROLL AT A GLANCE:
Schedule / Roster / Stats

  • The Blue Streaks enter the tournament for the fifth-straight season after claiming the OAC title. The team was the first OAC squad in 35 years to win five-straight titles.
  • John Carroll finished the regular season with an unblemished conference record (7-0) and are riding a seven-match win-streak.
  • Gustavo Garcia has played in the #2 and #3 spots this season and is coming into the tournament with six-straight wins. Garcia has been paired up with Andrew Triner in doubles all season, as the duo has been victorious in the last six matches.
  • Andy Siciliano has primarily played at #1 in both singles and doubles. In doubles, he has paired with David Sinense all season, as the tandem have won the last three.
  • John Carroll will play Franciscan in the first round of the tournament.

FRANCISCAN AT A GLANCE:
Schedule / Roster / Stats

  • The Barons won their seventh-straight Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference title to earn an automatic bid into the tournament.
  • Franciscan boasts a perfect 6-0 conference mark and 10-12 overall record.
  • The Barons and the Blue Streaks have met in the conference tournament before, with John Caroll coming away with a 5-1 victory in the 2015 matchup.

NO. 24 JOHNS HOPKINS AT A GLANCE:
Schedule / Roster / Stats

  • Johns Hopkins is making its 14th-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and will host a regional for the fourth time since 2010. The team was awarded an automatic bid after winning its 13th-straight Centennial Conference.
  • The Blue Jays recorded an unblemished 9-0 conference mark and a 16-4 overall record this spring.
  • The #1 doubles spot has seen several combinations this spring as Joe Cartledge and Austin Gu have played together for the majority of the season. The duo has compiled a record of 9-3, while Eric Burrer and Alex Matisse have played at #1 on occasion, boasting a 4-0 record in the top-spot.
  • Vishnu Joshi has been steady at #1 singles and #3 doubles this season. In singles, Joshi has a record of 7-2 this spring, and paired with Vik Visan in doubles the tandem has recorded nine victories and just two losses.
  • Johns Hopkins will play Washington & Jefferson in the first round.

WASHINGTON & JEFFERSON AT A GLANCE:
Schedule / Roster / Stats

  • Washington & Jefferson claimed its fourth Presidents' Athletic Conference title and first since 1969 to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
  • The team enters its first-ever tournament appearance with a 15-3 overall record.
  • Nate Wang has been a stalwart at #1 for the Presidents, boasting a 13-3 overall mark this year. Partnered with Sam Bellini in doubles, the tandem has won 12 matches this spring and are riding a three-match win-streak.
  • Washington & Jefferson will take on host No. 24 Johns Hopkins in the initial round of the tournament.

NO. 11 KENYON AT A GLANCE:
Schedule / Roster / Stats

  • The Lords received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and first-round bye after winning the North Coast Athletic Conference.
  • Kenyon will make its 23rd appearance in the tournament and 18th-straight.
  • Jacob Zalenski has played at #1 for most of the season, winning all 10 matches in the top-spot. Zalenski faced Wesleyan's Finkelman earlier this spring, as the duo split (4-6, 7-6) and Zalenski was up 1-0 in the third when the match was clinched. 
  • Pascal Lee and Zalenski have played in the top-spot in doubles for the majority of the season. Earlier in the spring, at #2, the duo fell to Wesleyan's Carter and Zach Fleishman, 8-5.  
  • The Lords will face the winners of the Johns Hopkins/Washington & Jefferson matchup on Saturday.