The Pioneers picked up the early 1-0 lead after winning two of three doubles matches. The senior duo of Max Krammer (Perchtoldsdorf, Austria) and Fabio Biasion (Velbert, Germany) defeated Idaho's Jose Bendeck and Cristobal Ramos 9-8 (2) to give the Pioneers the 1-0 lead heading into singles play.
In singles, junior Alex Clinkenbeard (Loveland, Colo.) picked up the Pioneers first singles win, defeating Cristobal Ramos, 6-4, 6-0. Senior and ITA-ranked No. 55 Enej Bonin (Koper, Slovenia) beat Dmitry Perevoshchikov 6-1, 6-2 in No. 1 singles. In the No. 3 singles slot, Krammer claimed a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Marius Cirstea to clinch the dual, 4-0.
“It was probably my greatest college match ever.” said Krammer. “We put a lot of effort in [this season] and we had a lot of injuries this season, but we showed that it was worth it.”
The Pioneers went down a rough patch with nine losses in a row, but their hard work and impressive record in conference play helped them succeed.
“These guys really earned it and persevered.” said Head Coach Danny Westerman. “It's great to have our senior clinch it. Our oldest guys on the team dug deep and they were ready for this moment, so it was really special.”
The win qualifies the Pioneers for the NCAA tournament. The regional rounds will take place from May 10-12, followed by the championship rounds from May 17-27 in Champaign/Urbana, Ill.
1. Enej Bonin (DEN) def. Dmitry Perevoshchikov (IDAHO), 6-1, 6-2
2. Jens Vorkefeld (DEN) vs. Abid Akbar (IDAHO), 6-4, 5-3 UNF
3. Max Krammer (DEN) def. Marius Cirstea (IDAHO), 6-4, 6-2
4. Jose Bendeck (IDAHO) vs. Henry Craig (DEN), 6-3, 2-4 UNF
5. Fabio Biasion (DEN) vs. Cesar Torres (IDAHO), 6-3, 1-1 UNF
6. Alex Clinkenbeard (DEN) def. Cristobal Ramos (IDAHO), 6-4, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 1, 3
1. Akbar/Cirstea (IDAHO) def. Bonin/Vorkefeld (DEN), 8-5
2. Krammer/Biasion (DEN) def. Bendeck/Ramos (IDAHO), 9-8(2)
3. Clinkenbeard/Craig (DEN) def. Perevoshchikov/ (IDAHO), 8-4
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
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