Men's Tennis wins thriller against Bradley, 4-3

    Freshman Szymon Opieczonek won the game winning point with his three-set 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-4 victory over BU's Michael Davis at No. 6 singles.

    Freshman Szymon Opieczonek won the game winning point with his three-set 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-4 victory over BU's Michael Davis at No. 6 singles.
    Men's Tennis Home

    Jonny Rigby receives ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award

    Salukis earn All-Conference, All-Select, Freshman of the Year and Elite 18

    SIU falls 4-0 against Drake, closing out the season and MVC Championships

    Official Athletics Twitter
    Official Athletics Facebook
    Official Athletics YouTube

    April 21, 2012


    Illinois State Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

    By Tyler Wooten

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois men's tennis team waited until the very last match point to pull out a crucial 4-3 conference victory against Bradley on Saturday at University Courts.

    The Salukis (8-12, 2-2 MVC) were up 3-1 after taking the doubles point and the first two singles matches -- courtesy of senior Stanislas Rodier (6-2, 6-4 at No. 2) and sophomore Rafael Cuadrillero (6-1, 6-0 at No. 5) -- but lost the next two grueling matches to the Braves (13-12, 2-3 MVC), who defeated juniors Badr Cherradi (6-4, 4-6, 1-6) and Brandon Florez (1-6, 6-4, 5-7) at Nos. 1 and 3 to even the score.

    It all came down to freshman Szymon Opieczonek at No. 6 singles against BU's Michael Davis. The Polish native had already taken the first set into a tiebreak and lost the second set by the time Bradley had tied the match. Opieczonek took charge in the third set, though, giving the Salukis victory with a 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-4 win.

    "That was big for a freshman to come up with a team-clinching win like that," said head coach Dann Nelson.

    The doubles point wasn't decided until literally the last point. SIU and BU each had a match apiece with No. 1 doubles still to play. Southern's Rodier and Florez pushed BU's Justin Abrams and Juan Diego Cuadrado into a tiebreak, ultimately winning 9-8 (6).

    "Getting that doubles point by getting that tiebreak at No. 1 doubles, that was huge," Nelson said. "It might be the difference in the match. Our momentum carried from doubles into singles. I think it was the deciding factor in the match."

    The Salukis close out the regular and conference season tomorrow on Senior Day against Illinois State (7-13, 1-3 MVC) at 11 a.m. where Rodier and Jordan Snyder will be recognized. With a win, Southern has a chance to finish third in the Missouri Valley and take the No. 3 seed in next week's conference tournament.

    "If we beat Illinois State, we're outright No. 3 in the conference," Nelson said. "We're gonna do our best to try and come out and represent SIU and get a win tomorrow."

    1. Albitar, Ahmed (BU) def. Badr Cherradi (SIU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
    2. Stanislas Rodier (SIU) def. Weerasinghe, Hamish (BU) 6-2, 6-4
    3. Cuadrado, Juan Diego (BU) def. Brandon Florez (SIU) 6-1, 4-6, 7-5
    4. Romanet, Arthur (BU) def. Orhan Spahic (SIU) 7-5, 6-0
    5. Rafael Cuadrillero (SIU) def. Abrams, Justin (BU) 6-1, 6-0
    6. Szymon Opieczonek (SIU) def. Davis, Michael (BU) 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 6-4

    1. Brandon Florez/Stanislas Rodier (SIU) def. Abrams, Justin/Cuadrado, Juan Diego (BU) 9-8 (7-6)
    2. Albitar, Ahmed/Weerasinghe, Hamish (BU) def. Szymon Opieczonek/Orhan Spahic (SIU) 8-6
    3. Badr Cherradi/Jordan Snyder (SIU) def. Kalhorn, Ashton/Romanet, Arthur (BU) 8-2