MENS TENNIS: Michael Goldman Leads Hounds To Regional FinalMay 4, 2006
EASTON, Mass. --- Assumption College senior MICHAEL GOLDMAN (Worcester, MA/Doherty) is the two-time Northeast-10 Conference Player-of-the Year. Playing every bit like the best player in his conference Goldman personally assured that the Greyhounds season would continue here THURSDAY in the semifinal round of the N.C.A.A. Division II East Regional.
The No. 5 seeded Greyhounds, now 18-3 overall, won their 12th straight match defeating the No. 4 seed, Mercy, NY, 5-4, in a grueling four-and-half hour marathon. Mercy completed its season 10-4.
They will play Concordia, NY---a 5-0 winner over the host Stonehill College--- FRIDAY at 11 a.m. in the regional final for a chance to advance to the N.C.A.A. Division II Nationals hosted by Rockhurst College in Kansas City, MO. That tournament is scheduled for Wednesday through Saturday, May 10-13.
This is the team's seventh straight regional appearance and the fifth straight year the Greyhounds will advance to the championship match. They defeated Bloomsburg, PA (5-4) in the classic 2002 championship at Assumption College however have fallen victim to powerful Kutztown, PA in each of the last three years on its home courts.
This day would belong to Goldman as the Hounds senior captain came from a 4-1 deficit in the final-and-deciding match to defeat Mercy senior HANSPETER GARTNER (Vienna, Austria), 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 6-4 in a three-hour affair. The match featured the No. 4 (Goldman) and No. 7 (Gartner) rated players according to the latest I.T.A. Northeast rankings.
"It was a fantastic and classic confrontation between two great players," said Hounds Coach JOHN IPPOLITO. "Michael is such a superb baseline player and most of his opponents will not allow themselves to get into that kind of match. Gartner is a multi-talented and experienced player, but the longer the match went on favored Michael."
"The finish was so characteristic of Michael," continued Ippolito. "He won perhaps the biggest match of his incredible career by adapting. He put the match away with two devastating serves in the late stages."
Gartner won last year's regional confrontation between the two players, 6-4, 7-5, however the Greyhounds prevailed as a team (5-2) to advance to the regional final.
The Greyhounds would also win at No. 2 and No. 3 singles as sophomore ANTONIO RECALDE (Ciudad del Este, Paraguay/San Isadro Labrador) and junior captain MATT STOPP (Altoona, PA/Altoona)---both of whom serve over 100 m.p.h.---overpowered their opponents.
With his back to the wall and down 1-4, Goldman won every point including back-to-back aces at 4-4 to take firm control parlaying an overpowering serve with his usual devastating baseline game. The final point was an emphatic overhand smash to the right of Gartner.
The Greyhounds won two of three doubles matches . . . Gartner and his freshman partner YUSUFCAN KOKSAL (Ankara, Turkey) handling Goldman and freshman JARED DORFMAN (Providence, RI/LaSalle), 8-3.
The No. 2 doubles team of junior MATT STOPP (Altoona, PA/Altoona) and sophomore ANTONIO RECALDE (Ciudad del Este, Paraguay/San Isadro Labrador) overpowered Mercy's CARL JOHNSON (New York, NY) and VYACHESLAV GLEBOV (Krasnoyarsk, Russia), 8-3. And, the newly created duo of junior DAVID MARSHALL (Newington, CT/Kingswood-Oxford)---just two weeks back from a broken wrist---and sophomore RICH LIEBERMAN (East Haddam, CT/Nathan Ray) won 8-3 over TIMON PROSPER (Fr., St. George, Grenada) and senior PAVOL VASKO (Ljubljana, Slovenia).
1, Mercy, HansPeter GARTNER (Sr., Vienna, Austria) and Yusufcan KOKSAL (Fr., Ankara, Turkey) def. Assumption, Michael GOLDMAN (Sr., Worcester, MA/Doherty) and Jared DORFMAN (Fr., Providence, RI/LaSalle), 8-3;
2, Assumption, Matt STOPP (Jr., Altoona, PA/Altoona) and Antonio RECALDE (So., Ciudad del Este, Paraguay/San Isadro Labrador) def. Mercy, Carl JOHNSON (So., New York, NY) and Vyacheslav GLEBOV (Krasnoyarsk, Russia), 8-3;
3, Assumption, David MARSHALL (Jr., Newington, CT/Kingswood-Oxford) and Rich LIEBERMAN (East Haddam, CT/Nathan Hale Ray) def. Mercy, Timon PROSPER (Fr., St. George, Grenada) and Pavol VASKO (Sr., Ljubljana, Slovenia), 8-3.
1, Assumption, Michael GOLDMAN (Sr., Worcester, MA/Doherty) def. HansPeter GARTNER (Sr., Vienna, Austria), 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 6-4;
2, Assumption, Antonio RECALDE (So., Ciudad del Este, Paraguay/San Isadro Labrador) def. Mercy, Vyacheslav GLEBOV (Fr., Krasnoyarsk, Russia), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2;
3, Assumption, Matt STOPP (Jr., Altoona, PA/Altoona) def. Mercy, Carl JOHNSON (So., New York, NY), 6-4, 7-5;
4, Mercy, Yusufcan KOKSAL (Fr., Ankara, Turkey) def. Assumption, Jared DORFMAN (Fr., Providence, RI/LaSalle), 6-4, 7-5;
5, Mercy, Timon PROSPER (Fr., St. George, Grenada) def. Assumption, David MARSHALL (Jr., Newington, CT/Kingswood-Oxford), 6-3, 1-6, 6-4;
6, Mercy, Pavol VASKO (Sr., Ljubljana, Slovenia) def. Assumption, Rich LIEBERMAN (East Haddam, CT/Nathan Hale Ray), 2-6, 6-3; 6-1.