April 19, 2008
The Neumann College men's tennis team won their first conference championship today as they defeated Marywood University in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference championship. The Knights won the hard fought match 5-4 in dramatic fashion. This is also the first men's team championship for Neumann College.
The Knights fell behind 2-1 in doubles play. The first doubles team of senior John Slinka and senior Andrew Bitar fell to Marywood's team 3-8. Evening the score for the Knights was the third doubles team of freshmen Chris Brown and Greg Bridgeman. Brown and Bridgeman won 8-6. In second doubles senior Barry Harvey and sophomore Dan "Hands" Harnos fell to Marywood in a tight and hard fought match 9-7.
Head Coach Chris Gosseaux knew the Knights were going to have to win the match with their singles play after losing in doubles. Gosseaux stated, "We lost a hard fought match at second doubles. It could have gone either way. I told the team, we've been down before and won - we can do it again." And that is what the Knights did.
Marywood continued their success in the match winning at first singles when freshmen Chris Brown fell 1-6, 1-6. The Knights came back with wins at the fifth and sixth singles as seniors Andrew Bitar and Barry Harvey won respectively, 7-5, 6-0 and 7-6 (3), 6-3. These two wins tied the match at 3-3.
Marywood came back with a win at second singles as Neumann's Greg Bridgeman lost a very competitive match. The scores were 6-7(4), 2-6. This gave Marywood a 4-3 lead.
But Neumann's senior leader John Slinka battled his way back at third singles to even the match back at 4-4. Slinka won 6-4, 7-5. The score now stood at 4-4.
All the while sophomore Dan "Hands" Harnos was battling Marywood's fifth singles team member. Harnos lost the first set 2-6 and seemingly the match when he got down early in the second set. And just like he has all year he began to battle back. Harnos was able to claw his way back into the match fighting off match point several times to win the second set 7-5. After a short break the third set started and Harnos jumped out early 2-1 and 3-2. Battling for every point Harnos took command of the match and pulled away to win 6-3 giving the Knights the P.A.C. championship and the right to compete in the NCAA men's tennis championship as the automatic qualifier.
The Knights will compete in two non-conference matches this week. They improve to 14-3 overall. Dan Harnos was selected the tournament MVP.
Neumann College Athletics Men's Tennis