Men’s tennis closes out fall season at ITA Regional

Vlad Rotnov  |  Photo by Curt Ashcraft
Vlad Rotnov | Photo by Curt Ashcraft

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Highlighted by five championship bracket victories and a pair of appearances in the round of 16, Denison men's tennis rounded out their fall schedule this past weekend at the 2019 ITA Central Regional Championships hosted at Kalamazoo College.

On the singles court, Vlad Rotnov and Tim Cianciola led the Big Red charge with consecutive wins to open the tournament. After receiving a first-round bye, Cianciola defeated DePauw's Bryce McClanahan 6-2, 6-2 before advancing to the fourth round of action following a 6-3, 6-2 victory over North Central's Guillermo Gonzalez Fernandez. Cianciola's singles success ended in the round of 16 with a loss to James Hopper (Case Western Reserve), 6-4, 7-5.

Rotnov earned his first singles win of the weekend against Wheaton's Nathan Fruh (6-0, 6-4) in the round of 64. He advanced to the fourth round after he defeated Landon Carrico from Hanover, 7-6 (5), 6-0, but fell to CWRU's Matthew Chen in the next match 7-5, 6-2.

In the consolation bracket, freshman Jack Bulger reached the quarterfinals after three-straight wins over James Dill (6-2, 6-3), Sriram Sugumaran (7-6 (6), 4-6, 10-8), and Adam Shinomiya (4-6, 6-4, 10-8), before suffering a 7-6 (5), 6-3 loss to Kenyon's Austin Diehl.

In doubles action, Rotnov and Jacob Dennen earned an opening victory over Ohio Northern's Matt Garcia and Gianluca Perusini, 8-2. The pair ended their weekend in the next round following an 8-5 loss to North Central's Andy Hinch and Colten Way.

The consolation bracket brought success for the combo of Cianciola and Bulger who posted three consecutive victories over Hanover's Carrico and Pablo Gallart (8-1), Oberlin's Dill and Elliot Nuss (8-3), and Alvaro Leal and Caio Rezende from Augustana. The duo's run came to an end in the title match with an 8-7 (3) loss to Kenyon's Pascal Lee and Luis Andres Platas.

The Big Red will return to action on Saturday, February 15 when they travel to the University of Toledo for a spring opener with the Rockets.